Drivers soon to face tougher fines in Germany
A new bill from the German inistry of Transport that cracks down on bad driving is expected to pass in the Bundesrat this month. If the bill is signed into law, fines for driving violations will rise significantly in Germany.
German transport ministry cracks down on bad drivers
A new bill from the German Ministry of Transport will see new rules for drivers and considerably higher fines for offences. The bill is expected to be signed into law by the Bundesrat on October 8, following discussions between the federal government and the federal states. If the bill is signed into law, the new rules will come into force just three weeks later, at the end of October.
The bill would see fines for traffic offences, such as speeding or driving in the bus lanes, significantly raised. Fines for driving 16 to 20 kilometres per hour over the speed limit in a built-up area will rise from 35 to 70 euros, and will rise even further if someone is driving faster. Anyone who illegally drives on the pavement or cycle lane can expect a 100-euro fine, instead of the standard 25 euros.
The bill also includes new rules. One new rule prohibits drivers from parking in designated parking spaces for electric or car-sharing vehicles. Another forces lorry drivers to not exceed walking speed when turning right in urban areas.
“A real breakthrough”
The chairperson of the Conference of Transport Ministers (VMK), Maike Schaefer, is confident the bill will be passed into law and said the new fines will force drivers to adhere to driving rules, as well as protect cyclists and pedestrians. “We know that excessive speed is the most frequent cause of accidents,” she said. “The catalogue of fines and road traffic regulations are ultimately traffic education measures for mutual consideration.”
Schaefer hailed the bill as “a real breakthrough” considering the compromise between the federal government and the state governments. The bill was supposed to be introduced last year, but ended up being suspended until now due to ongoing disputes and errors.
Germany’s new driving rules
If the bill is approved and passed in the Bundesrat, the following fines will be applied to drivers who violate the new rules:
- 55 euros (up from 15 euros) for drivers who park in an area where cars are not allowed to stop or park.
- 70 euros (up from 35 euros) for anyone who drives 16 to 20 kmph faster than the limit in an urban area. Higher fines will be imposed on vehicles going faster.
- 55 euros (up from 35 euros) for drivers who park in a disabled spot without authorisation.
- 100 euros (up from 25 euros) for anyone who drives on pavements, cycle paths and hard shoulders illegally.
- 100 euros (up from 20 euros) for drivers that make unnecessary noise or drive back and forth repeatedly without purpose.
The bill also includes some new regulations; a 100-euro fine will be applied to anyone who uses a marked fire service lane, or obstructs an emergency vehicle. Also, anyone who parks in a spot designated for car-sharing or electric vehicles can expect a 55-euro fine. Lorry drivers will also be subject to a 70-euro fine if they do not adhere to the walking speed rule when turning right in an urban area. Finally, anyone who fails to form an emergency lane, or uses one to move ahead of traffic, can expect to be slapped with a fine anywhere between 200 and 320 euros.