Traffic violations in Germany: how to avoid getting a fine
When traveling to other countries, drivers should keep in mind that traffic rules may differ there. Find out more about the specifics of traffic rules in Germany and the amount of fines for non-compliance
A car gives you the freedom to move freely anywhere. Many expats migrate across Europe in their own cars. After living in another country for some time, most of them notice differences from German traffic rules.
European countries adhere to the Geneva and Vienna Conventions on Road Traffic, so their traffic rules are quite similar. But still, each country has its own minor differences. In 2023, Germany introduced a number of innovations for drivers, which include the application of penalty points and the establishment of new fines. Read more about this in our article.
What are the penalties for traffic violations in Germany?
There are 4 types of penalties for traffic violations in Germany:
1. Monetary fines - imposed for minor offenses;
2. Penalty points - accrued to the electronic file for each traffic violation. This process is overseen by the Federal Road Transport Agency. Over time, penalty points are canceled, the main thing is not to accumulate them in one period;
3. Temporary driving ban - if there are 5 penalty points, drivers must attend a seminar at a driving school, which costs 300–400 euros. For 6 penalty points, a temporary driving ban is imposed on the driver;
4. Deprivation of rights - for 8 accumulated penalty points, drivers' driving licenses are withdrawn.
Monetary penalties for traffic violations in Germany
After a number of innovations in 2023, the amount of fines for traffic violations in Germany increased. This is especially true for fines for speeding. For this, the driver will receive both a monetary fine and penalty points in his electronic file. In Germany, fines for speeding differ between urban and rural areas:
- Speeding by 10 km/h is 20 euros outside the city and 30 euros within the city;
- Speeding by 11-15 km/h - 40 euros outside the city and 50 euros within the city;
- Speeding by 16-20 km/h - 60 euros outside the city and 70 euros within the city;
- Speeding by 21-25 km/h - 100 euros outside the city and 115 euros within the city + 1 penalty point;
- Speeding by 26-30 km/h - 150 euros outside the city and 180 euros within the city + 1 penalty point and a possible driving ban for 1 month;
- Speeding by 31-40 km/h - 200 euros outside the city and 260 euros within the city + 1 penalty point and a possible driving ban for 1 month;
- Speeding by 41-50 km/h - 320 euros outside the city and 400 euros within the city + 2 penalty points and a possible driving ban for 1 month;
- Speeding by 51-60 km/h - 480 euros outside the city and 560 euros within the city + 2 penalty points and a possible driving ban for 2 months;
- Speeding by 61-70 km/h - 600 euros outside the city and 700 euros within the city + 2 penalty points and a possible driving ban for 2 months;
- Speeding over 70 km/h - 700 euros outside the city and 800 euros within the city + 2 penalty points and a possible driving ban for 3 months.
Important! If a person commits more than 2 speeding offenses within a period of 1 year, he or she will receive a temporary driving ban.
New fines for traffic violations in Germany
In 2023, the German Federal Road Transport Agency introduced a number of innovations that provide for the establishment of new fines. Let's take a closer look at them:
1. Parking in spaces for people with disabilities - 55 euros;
2. Parking in the lane for firefighters - 100 euros;
3. Obstructing the movement of emergency medical services - 100 euros;
4. Driving in the emergency lane - from 200 to 320 euros;
6. Turning too fast to the right - 70 euros;
7. Driving over sidewalks, pedestrian paths or roadsides - 100 euros;
8. Too loud exhaust system of the vehicle - 100 euros;
8. Failure to maintain a safe driving distance - 400 euros and a temporary driving ban for 3 months;
9. Overtaking from the right side - 120 euros;
10. Use of a phone while driving - 100 euros and 1 penalty point (Hands Free, hands-free, Android Auto and Apple Car Play systems are allowed).
Driving under the influence in Germany
According to the German traffic rules, the permissible blood alcohol concentration is 0.5‰ - 1.09‰, provided that the driver is driving normally and there are no signs of intoxication in his/her behavior. In other cases, this offense is punishable by a fine of 3 thousand euros and a temporary driving ban for 1–3 months.
If the permissible alcohol concentration is exceeded by 1.09‰, the driver will be fined or imprisoned for up to 1 year in accordance with the German Criminal Code (Article 316 StGB).
Payment of fines for traffic violations in Germany
If a driver receives a fine, he or she will receive a notice with all the necessary payment details. To pay the fine, you can contact any bank or other credit institution. Be sure to keep the payment receipt in case you need to file a complaint.
Important! If you drive your own vehicle and not a rented one, you must have an amount on your account that is not less than the cost of the insurance policy.
If the driver leaves the territory of Germany after receiving a fine, payment can be made via bank details. If the payment is delayed for a long time, the amount of the fine will constantly increase. In the future, the bailiff may even seize valuables from the house to pay off the debt. For non-payment of the fine, there is a particular risk of being banned from entering the territory of Germany or the entire European Union.
Thus, Germany has its own peculiarities of traffic rules. After a number of innovations in 2023, the amount of fines for traffic violations increased. Therefore, you should be careful and cautious while driving, as drivers risk losing their license for accumulating penalty points.
Igor Usyk - Head of Legal Department at Visit World
For safe movement on German roads use the advice of an international lawyer.
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