To stem an increase of off-road driving, the Environmental Agency of Iceland is encouraging people to inform those renting cars that the practice is illegal.
RÚV reports that there has been an increase in off-road driving, often from rented vehicles. While sometimes the tire tracks indicate this is done purely for fun, other times it has clearly been done to get around obstacles such as closed gates. Either way, the practice is illegal, as it can disturb or destroy ecosystems that have taken centuries to develop.
To combat this, some places have taken to putting up more road signs. Vatnajökull National Park, for example, has put up many more signs warning drivers to stay on marked roads.
The Environmental Agency of Iceland would like to see this go further. Assuming that much of the off-road driving is due to some people simply not knowing better, they and others have worked on a leaflet that details Iceland’s driving laws. This leaflet will be distributed to car rental companies, cruise ships, cabins and other places.
If you have rented or are planning to rent a car in Iceland, we strongly encourage you to drive only on marked roads. The turns you take off the road could damage plant life or nesting grounds that can take decades or even centuries to renew themselves.
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