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Belo Horizonte, Brazil

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Travel Infomation Description

Consider avoiding the use of public, municipal buses in Brazil at any time of day, and especially at night. Crime trends indicate an elevated risk of robbery or assault on public bus systems throughout Brazil. The U.S. government recommends against personnel using public, municipal buses in all parts of Brazil.

Traffic Safety and Road Conditions: Driving on Brazil's roads poses significant risks. Poor driving skills, bad roads, and high density traffic make road travel more hazardous than in the United States.

Road maintenance is inadequate in many areas and some long-distance roads through the Amazon forest are impassable much of the year due to flooding. Private cars and public buses are the main modes of inter-city road travel. Buses can range (depending on route and price) from luxurious and well-maintained to basic and mechanically unsound. Bus hijacking can occur at random.

Apart from toll roads, which generally have their own services, roadside assistance is available only sporadically and informally through local mechanics. The fastest way to summon assistance in an emergency anywhere in the country is to dial 193, a universal number staffed by local fire departments. This service is in Portuguese only.

Traffic Laws: Travelers planning on staying for more than 180 days should obtain an Inter-American Driving Permit to carry with their valid U.S. license if they plan to drive in Brazil. Such permits can be obtained through AAA or other sources. Please note:

  • Everyone in the vehicle must wear a seatbelt. Brazilian federal law requires child seats for all children under the age of 7 ?. From age 7 ? years to 10, children must only ride in the back seat.
  • Drivers must yield the right of way to cars on their right. Compliance with stop signs is rarely enforced, so many motorists treat them as yield signs. It is common for drivers to turn or cross one or more lanes of traffic without warning.
  • Drivers often flash their lights or wave a hand out the window to signal other drivers to slow down. 
  • Pedestrian crossings are only observed in some places, such as Brasilia. 
  • Drivers must have their daytime running lights on during the day and headlights on at night on Federal Highways.
  • Under Brazil?s Lei Seca (?Dry Law?), you cannot operate a vehicle with any measurable blood-alcohol level. Checkpoints are often set up in urban areas, and randomly chosen drivers are required to perform a breathalyzer test. Those in violation are subject to legal penalties and having their vehicle impounded. 

See our Road Safety page for more information. Visit the website of Brazil?s national tourist office and national authority responsible for road safety.

AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government of Brazil?s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Brazil?s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA?s safety assessment page.

Maritime Travel: Mariners planning travel to Brazil should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts. Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard homeport website and the National Geospatial Agency broadcast warnings website (select ?broadcast warnings?).

Belo Horizonte, Brazil
Belo Horizonte, Brazil
Belo Horizonte, Brazil
Belo Horizonte, Brazil

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