Iceland Mag

4 Reykjavik

Iceland Mag

Nature

Please don't do this: Off-roading on black sand beaches leaves ugly marks

By Staff

  • Not a pretty sight The tracks are clearly visible from the road, and do nothing to add to the scenery or the beauty of the view. Photo/Gunnar Birgisson

  • Not the first idiot off the road You can seen older tracks in the sand: These only serve as an adviertisement to other idiots to plough out onto the sand. Photo/Gunnar Birgisson

  • Please don't do this Remember that ALL off-road driving is illegal in Iceland

Some drivers seem to be overcome with a completely irresistible urge to drive off road on the black sand beaches in South Iceland. Perhaps it's the feeling of vast wilderness, the urge to defy the hostile but wide open glacial outwash plains, or perhaps it's the mistaken belief that a little offroading can't hurt.

But it does.

The sand does not reset at night, and it takes months, even years for tire tracks to disappear. What's worse, old tire tracks in the sand send the incorrect signal to other drivers that it's ok to drive off-road on the sand: Some drivers appear to think that they should be entitled to engage in the same kind of irresponsible and destructive behavior as others.

A local photographer Gunnar A Birgisson shared these images of tracks left by off-roading idiots on Skaftársandur glacial outwash plain in SE Iceland. All the tracks were left in just one day - by the same car! Gunnar shared the images on social media as a lesson to others.

We at Iceland Magazine would like to award the driver of said vehicle, and his travel companions, with the award for "Most Irresponsible Traveler of the Day". We also hope that his actions will serve, not as an invitation to others to engage in the same kind of activity, but as a warning. This is exactly the kind of activity you should not engage in. Remember that ALL off-road driving is illegal, and it carries a heavy fine. If caught, the person responsible for these tracks would be looking at a fine of at least 1,000 USD.

Read more: Travelers pay big fine for brief off-roading "adventure" on Dyrhóley peninsula

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