Traffic Offences: Changes to Parking Fines
Parking fines have been a staple of German traffic offences for a long time, however, the amendment to the current legislation will also impact this area of driving. Here is a list of fines one can now expect to receive for these traffic offences:
- Parking car in “blind spot” (corners of streets and other inappropriate areas): a fine of €35.
- Parking car in a fire brigade access road: fine of €55.
- Obstruction of emergency or rescue vehicle: fine of €100 and one penalty point.
- Unauthorised parking in a parking space for disabled persons: fine of up to €55.
- Parking in the second row / double-parking: fine of up to €55.
- Unauthorised parking in spaces intended for e-cars or car-sharing vehicles: fine of up to €55.
As can be seen here there are many traffic offences relating to parking which one has to be aware of according the Road Traffic Act. These offences have not changed drastically with the introduction of the new amendment however; the sanctions have risen. Some of the fines have more than doubled so one should make themselves aware of these changes.
Traffic Offences: Not making an “Emergency Corridor” / “Rescue Lane”
Not making a “rescue lane” or “emergency corridor” in traffic to allow for emergency vehicles to make their way through is already an offence under German traffic law, however, the new amendment will make some noteworthy changes which one should be aware of. Not making an emergency corridor in traffic can result in fines ranging from €200 to €320 depending on the facts of the case. These fines for the offence were in place for when the failure to create this emergency corridor resulted in an obstruction or endangerment to third parties. This action could also result in a one-month driving ban as well as two penalty points.
However, the amendment allows for penalties such as these to be in pace without there being a concrete danger or obstruction. Mere failure to create the emergency corridor can now result in a one month driving ban.
The failure to make an emergency corridor is a serious offence in German law. Above listed are just some of the sanctions linked to it. However, in more serious cases it can be considered as a criminal offence resulting in imprisonment. This is regulated under § 323c German Criminal Code / StGB which states:
(1) Whoever does not render assistance in the case of an accident or a common danger or emergency although it is necessary and can reasonably be expected under the circumstances… incurs a penalty of imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or a fine.
(2) Whoever obstructs a person who is rendering or wishes to render assistance to another person in such a situation incurs the same penalty.
This is not the only offence linked to the emergency corridor during an accident. It is also stated that drivers who use this emergency corridor illegally will face fines of €240 and may also face a driving ban as well as two penalty points.
Traffic Offences: How will this Amendment affect Cyclists?
This amendment to the Road Traffic Act will be of benefit to cyclists in Germany. There will now be stricter implementation of fines for those who park their cars on cycle paths while heavy vans and trucks (weighing more than 3.5 tonnes) will have to slow down while making turns in urban areas. This move is with the pedestrian and cyclist in mind. Should these turns be made at too fast a speed the driver can face a fine of €70 and one penalty point.
Further points of interest for cyclists include:
- Drivers must keep a distance of 1.5m between themselves and other road users when overtaking in urban and other built-up areas. In non-built-up areas (rural areas) the distance should be 2m.
- Cyclists may cycle next to each other where they are not obstructing traffic.
Traffic Offences: “Blitzer Apps” / Speed Camera Apps
The amendment to the Road Traffic Act will also look to clamp down on the use of “Blitzer apps” / speed camera apps. These applications can identify the locations of speed cameras in order to inform the user of when they need to slow down in advance of the cameras. Such applications can warn their user of these cameras by acoustic and / or optical signals. These apps have reduced the usefulness of speed cameras around Germany. The use of these apps will not be permitted in accordance with § 23 (1) StVO / Road Traffic Act . Therefore, having the app on your phone is not an offence but if you are found to have used it a fine of €75 and one penalty point can be expected.
Traffic Law Assistance in Germany
At Schlun & Elseven Attorneys our legal team provide clients with the representation and support they need when it comes to the German legal system. We work with clients from all over the world and provide our services in English as well as German. From our offices in Cologne, Aachen and Düsseldorf we advise clients on a broad range of issues as can be expected from a comprehensive full-service law firm. With conference rooms in Berlin, Munich, Hamburg, Stuttgart and Frankfurt, as well as video conferencing facilities, we advise our clients all over Germany.
If you require a German lawyer in the area of traffic offences then make sure to get in contact with us directly. Once we start on your case we can move from the theoretical legal knowledge into the more specialised assistance and apply the law to the individual characteristics of your situation. Contact us today for more information.