Being the smallest U.S state by size, you can take in a lot of the sights in Rhode Island during a car rental vacation. But before you go, it’s a good idea to read up about the state’s rules of the road. Though the state itself is not an island, there is a cluster of islands in the Narragansett Bay estuary that you can easily visit with a car rental thanks to their network of interconnected bridges. Here we will give you an overview of the rules and regulations specific to Rhode Island, to help you navigate safely and avoid traffic fines during your vacation.
General Rules and Regulations
- The driver and all passengers should wear seatbelts at all times in Rhode Island.
- All children under 8 and less than 57 inches in height should be seated in a rear-facing child seat.
- All drivers in both directions should stop for buses with red flashing lights.
- Drivers should yield to bicyclists in bike lanes and not cross over into the bike lane when preparing to turn.
- You may turn right on a red light but you must come to a full stop and check traffic before you turn.
- Drivers must yield to the vehicle on their right when arriving at the same time at a four-way stop.
Speed Limits in Rhode Island
Rhode Island has a “reasonable and prudent” speed limit law that also accounts for slow drivers. If you are traveling below the normal speed of the traffic flow, you must keep close to the right of the curb or roadside. At 65 mph the maximum speed limit on interstate highways is relatively low for a U.S state. Also, be aware of the 5 mph reduction in speed limit when driving on general roads at night.
|School zones||20 mph|
|Within city limits||25 mph|
|General roads||45-50 mph|
|Expressways and divided highways||50 mph|
Turning and Parking
In Rhode Island U-turns are legal where it is not signposted otherwise. Be aware of and do not impede other traffic and look out for curves and gradients in the road that might obstruct your visibility.
It is illegal to double park on Rhode Island, this is where a vehicle parks alongside a parked vehicle. Also, make sure you are not blocking a driveway when parking and check the signposts as parking laws can vary from area to area. Here are some of the main parking laws across the state of Rhode Island.
- Do not park within 20 feet of a crosswalk or intersection.
- Do not park within 8 feet of a fire hydrant.
- Do not park within 30 feet of a stop sign, flashing beacon or traffic signal.
- Do not park within 50 feet of a railway crossing.
- Do not park within 20 feet of a fire station driveway on the same side of the road while on the opposite side your vehicle must be 75 feet away.
Car Rental with SIXT on Rhode Island
Rhode Island’s quaint seaside towns, islands, and coastal attractions are easy to explore in a car rental and the state has a number of scenic byways that take you through salt marshes, and past bays and colonial architecture. To take in some of the most beautiful parts of the coastline try Route 1A that takes you from Westerly to North Kingstown passing numerous coves and beaches along the way. Architecture enthusiasts will especially enjoy the short Ocean Drive route in Newport that takes you past many impressive mansions dating to the late 1800s.