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Driving in Suriname

In Suriname, traffic drives on the left, although left-hand drive cars are commonplace. There is a reasonable, largely paved, road network with some potholes. Drivers using their own cars should make sure they carry a full set of spares. Excessive speed, unpredictable habits by drivers, motorcyclists and bicyclists, unusual right of way patterns, poorly maintained roads, and a lack of basic safety equipment on many vehicles are daily hazards on Surinamese roads.

Driving is sometimes tricky in Paramaribo as unique street signs are used, and there are relatively few traffic lights, which do not operate on the weekends. Many main thoroughfares do not have sidewalks, forcing pedestrians, motorcycles, and bicycle traffic to share the same space. Roads are often not marked with traffic lines.

Auto trips in town can vary greatly depending on the time of day. A car with good manoeuvrability is helpful in traffic, since most streets are narrow. For travel to remote areas of Suriname a four-wheel drive vehicle is required and such vehicles do make driving in town easier during periods of heavy rainfall or flooding.

Also, the profusion of bicycles and mopeds along some streets creates confusion for newcomers. It is important to note that bicycles and mopeds have the right-of-way and both drivers and pedestrians must learn to look carefully when making turns.

As of January 2007, seatbelts are required for all passengers of automobiles, and drivers must use a hands-free device if using a mobile phone while driving.





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