Facts about Utania - 46
As most cities will have a train station, timetables for that city and related journeys are available at these. Timetables can be mailed, or travellers can phone a free helpline on 0800 39000 (though, this is only available locally). Train timetables are also due to be made available from http://www.Urail.com.ut in the near future.
Tickets must be carried at all times by passengers, and conductors do perform random checks throughout the train regularly, with the penalty for fare evasion coupled with the cheap fares making the thought economically inviable.
CARS & MOTORCYCLES
There is nothing more pleasing than the freedom to make your own tracks and your own journey, free of the constraints of train and bus timetables. Hire car companies are becoming increasingly available in Utania, though, at this stage, are really only available in the major east coast centres. Costs can also be high: Û100 per day, plus Û40 per hundred kilometres travelled, and petrol is also expensive, about Û1.50 per litre.
The major Utanian company is, once again, Belson Corporation's Belson Car Hire, but international competition has arrived in the form of Herts Car Rentals. Both charge about the same, and both have reasonable cars with good safety records. Smaller hire car companies often have high penalties for accidents, offering no insurance for your travels. In both cases, numbers of cars are small (but rapidly growing), so booking well in advance is always advised.
To drive in Utania, you must carry your passport and international drivers license at all times. International driver's licenses do hold in Utania officially, but many police will not know this and demand to see an Utanian one. Simply show them your passport at this point.
Speed limits in Utania vary from state to state, but generally 120 kph is the maximum on divided highways and freeways, 100 kph on undivided highways and 50 kph in urban driving, unless otherwise posted. Posting of speed signs is poor to the west of the country, so it is best to exercise caution.
Utania's high number of road fatalities are an appalling
indictment on their driving skills, though the various state governments are starting to
crack down on drink-driving and speeding, and license tests are being toughened. The maximum
allowable blood-alcohol content is 0.05%, but in the western states testing is unreliable and
police err on the side of the driver, further raising the road death toll.
Many bridges in Utania are also one-way bridges and drivers should take note that one direction will take precedence over the other, and these are usually clearly sign-posted at the start of the bridge. You must give way to oncoming traffic if the precedence is against you.
Please also note that driving in Utania is on the LEFT hand side of the road, that drivers must stop completely at "Stop" signs, pause at "Give way" signs, and always give way to oncoming traffic when turning, and left turns go before right turns at intersections.
Buying your own
Rather than hiring a car, why not consider buying one if you're going to be in the country for long enough? A used car can be bought for almost any price, but one of reasonable quality will be about Û6,000 (ChC2,000), though all used cars are obviously a risk, especially on unpaved roads.
Ensure the car, if purchased in Luka or Nystonia states, has its papers, proof-of-ownership and proof-of-road-worthiness. The latter is not necessary in Utani B'yan or Savana, and if the former is lost, don't worry - just obtain a receipt from the seller with their signature.
There is only one car company of significance in Utania, Savant Motors, and the quality of its cars equate more to that of jeeps and buses, but it is now improving. (The company, to be fair, was established purely for utilitarian vehicles like trucks and farm vehicles, while all cars were imported from Guwimith.)
Cars are invariably filled with family members, so trucks, especially the of the smaller variety, are usually the best bet. In some of the more remote parts of the country, however, expect long waits and be prepared. Always carry plenty of water, particularly in the south and west of the country, and some sun-shading hats or jackets.
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