Speeding is a common traffic violation with significant legal consequences in Germany. While driving at high speeds may be tempting, it is necessary to remember that the German government takes traffic safety very seriously and has strict laws and rules to deter and punish speeding violations. Even on the world-famous Autobahn network, it is possible to receive significant fines and sanctions for driving at high speeds.

In this article, we will discuss the potential legal consequences of speeding in Germany, including fines, license points, driving bans, criminal charges, and the legal defences available to drivers who receive speeding tickets. We will also outline the legal aspects of speed cameras and how they are used in Germany. Whether you are a German resident or a visitor to the country, it is essential to understand your rights and responsibilities when driving on German roads.

Schlun & Elseven Rechtsanwälte is a full-service, multi-disciplinary law firm in Germany, and we are here to advise you across all areas of German law. Please, do not hesitate to contact us directly for further legal guidance and support.

You can contact our law office anytime if you have a particular issue or legal question concerning German law. Our German lawyers can be reached by phone and email and provide video conferencing options. For more legal information, please visit our legal homepage.

What are the Legal Consequences for Speeding in Germany

The consequences of getting caught speeding in Germany depend on the severity of the violation and the case’s specific circumstances. In general, the following penalties may apply:

  • Fines: You may receive a fine if caught speeding in Germany, and the amount will depend on the severity of the violation. It can range from a few euros to several hundred euros. The fine is typically calculated based on how much you exceeded the speed limit.
  • License points: Besides a fine, you may receive penalty points on your driver’s license. The number of points depends on the severity of the violation and can range from one to three points. You may face additional penalties, including driving bans, if you accumulate too many points.
  • Driving bans: In some cases, if caught speeding in Germany, you may face a driving ban. The length of the ban depends on the severity of the violation and can range from a few months to several years.
  • Criminal charges: In some instances, such as when a driver is caught excessively exceeding the speed limit or causes an accident while speeding, criminal charges may be filed. In such cases, the penalties can include fines, imprisonment, and even the revocation of the driver’s license.

It’s worth noting that the consequences of getting caught speeding in Germany can be more severe for non-residents, as they may be required to pay the fine on the spot or have their vehicle impounded until the fine is paid. It’s essential to obey the speed limits in Germany and to seek legal advice if you receive a speeding ticket or face any other penalties for a traffic violation.

Regarding penalty points, drivers should be aware that the number of penalty points required to face a driving ban depends on the severity of the offence. Generally, drivers who accumulate 8 penalty points within a certain period may face a driving ban in Germany.

However, in some cases, such as for severe offences like drunk driving or reckless driving, a driver may face a driving ban even if they have accumulated fewer points. It’s vital to note that the period for which points are counted and the specific penalties for each offence can vary depending on the case circumstances.

Our page on driving offences in Germany provides more information on this matter.

Speed Cameras and the Law in Germany

Speed cameras are widely used in Germany and are essential for enforcing speed limits and improving road safety. State and local authorities operate speed cameras, and federal and state laws regulate their use.

Several types of speed cameras are in use, including fixed cameras that are permanently installed at specific locations and monitor traffic continuously, mobile cameras that can be moved from one place to another, average speed cameras and section control cameras.

The legal basis for using speed cameras in Germany is the Road Traffic Act (Straßenverkehrsordnung) and related regulations. Under German law, speed cameras are considered a legitimate means of enforcing traffic regulations as long as they are used per specific rules and guidelines.

For example, speed cameras must be calibrated regularly to ensure accuracy and clearly marked with warning signs to alert drivers to their presence. Additional to the marking requirements, speed cameras in Germany must meet specific technical standards to ensure their accuracy and reliability. Furthermore, the data collected by speed cameras must be treated per data protection laws, and drivers have the right to access and challenge any data that has been collected about them.

If you receive a speeding ticket based on evidence from a speed camera, you have the right to challenge the ticket in court, and you may be able to argue that the camera was not properly calibrated or that the data collected is inaccurate or incomplete.

Challenging a Speeding Ticket and Speed Cameras in Germany

If you receive a speeding ticket in Germany, you can challenge it in court, and to do so, you must file a written objection (Einspruch) within two weeks of receiving the ticket. The process for challenging a speeding camera ticket is similar to the process for challenging any other traffic violation.

Several legal defences are available to challenge a speeding ticket in Germany, depending on the case’s specific circumstances. Some common defences include:

  • Calibration issues: Speed cameras must be calibrated regularly to ensure their accuracy. If you can demonstrate that the camera was not properly calibrated at the time of your violation, you may be able to have the ticket dismissed.
  • Insufficient evidence: In some cases, the evidence used to support a speeding ticket may be inadequate to prove that you were actually driving the vehicle at the time of the violation or that the speed limit was clearly indicated at the location where the offence allegedly occurred.
  • Necessity: In rare cases, you may be able to argue that you were speeding out of necessity, such as to avoid an accident or to respond to an emergency situation.
  • Legal technicalities: There may be certain legal technicalities that you can use to challenge a speeding ticket, such as if the ticket was issued after the statute of limitations had expired or if there were errors in the ticket itself.

If the court agrees with your complaint, the ticket may be dismissed, and you will not be required to pay the fine or receive any penalty points on your driver’s license. If the court does not agree with your complaint, you will be required to pay the fine and any associated costs.

It’s worth noting that challenging a speeding camera ticket in court can be time-consuming and complicated, and there is no guarantee that you will succeed. It’s essential to weigh the potential costs and benefits before challenging a ticket. Seeking legal advice is strongly recommended. Our experienced legal team can review the evidence and help you identify your case’s most persuasive legal defences.

Working with our Legal Professionals

Schlun & Elsven Rechtsanwälte is a full-service law firm, and we offer extensive legal services in all matters concerning driving offences in Germany, including speeding and speed camera matters. Our team aims to provide valuable assistance navigating the legal system and achieving the best possible outcome in your speeding camera case.

Our lawyers will provide expert legal advice, review the evidence, identify legal defences, examine whether your rights were violated, gather supporting evidence and represent you in court. If the evidence against you is strong, a lawyer can negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecution to reduce the fine or penalties. Similarly, we can present mitigating factors that may persuade the judge to reduce the fine or penalties against you, such as financial hardship or a clean driving record.

The value of working with our team is that they will highlight your rights under German law, especially those concerning your right to information and access regarding the use of speed cameras. Drivers can also request their personal data be deleted if it is no longer needed for its original purpose or if it was collected unlawfully and have the right to correct it if it is inaccurate or incomplete.