Driving in Germany
Going to Germany by your own transport or planning to use a rented car in this country, you need to take into account the peculiarities of local driving rules. The markings, signs, signals of traffic lights can differ significantly from other ones, as well as the size of fines.
Check in advance if your driver’s license is valid in Germany. Germany signed the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic in 1968. The provision on the mutual recognition of documents is enshrined in the clouse 41 of this act. This means that a new driver’s license (issued after 2011) is recognized in Germany without restriction.
By the way, in Germany, you can drive a car from 17 years old, but until you reach adulthood (18 years old) this right is legal if you are accompanied by an experienced mentor. Those who receive driver’s lisence for the first time are on probation for 2 years and only in the absence of severe violations will get a permanent certificate.
Signs and traffic lights on German roads
German road signs and their meaning are almost identical to international. But there are still slight differences. For example, the bus stop sign in Germany looks very different: in the center of the yellow circle with a green frame there is a large black letter H. The inscription “Umleitung” on a yellow background indicates a pass-by.
Local traffic lights are no different from European ones, except for stationary plates with arrows that allow right-hand traffic. If the red color lights up, but there is such a sign (mentioned above), you can continue to move, of course, skipping the other participants.
On the autobahn, an emergency triangle is set at a distance of 100 meters from the car. After an accident, passengers and the driver must leave the car and be safe behind the guard until the police arrive.
Speed and its limitations
The following high-speed mode is set for German roads:
- in residential areas – 50 km/h;
- beyond the city limits – 100 km/h;
- on autobahns – without restrictions, but with a recommendation not to exceed 130 km/h;
- limited visibility – 50 km/h.
Despite significant concessions, strict restrictions are already in place on half of highways in the range of 80–130 km/h. Vehicles with a maximum speed of less than 60 km/h are strictly forbidden to travel on such highways.
Autobahn fee is paid for by purchasing a subscription for a specific period of time:
- 10 days – 10 euros;
- 60 days – 22 euros;
- one year – about 130 euros.
In addition to the general fee, fare is paid for certain directions and tunnels:
- Warnow tunnel – from 3 to 3.7 euros (depending on the season of the year);
- Herren tunnel – 1.7 euros;
- Alpine highway Rossfeld – 8 euros.
Entrance to the ecological zones “Umweltzone” is required to be paid. In the technical inspection centers (TUV), a Plakette sticker is bought, which is glued to the windshield from the inside. The cost of such a sticker varies from 5 to 15 euros. Entering the green zone without it is punishable by a fine of 40 euros.
Drunk driving in Germany, as in any other country, is prohibited. With a driving experience of up to two years or a driver’s age of under 21, the permitted blood alcohol level is zero per mille. For everyone else – 0.5.
If the driver’s blood contains from 0.3 to 0.5, a verbal warning willbe made. Of course, provided that he did not commit any violation.
If the alcohol level in the blood exceeds the established norm, a fine of 500 euros is writen off. For repeated violation, the penalty is doubled, and the driver is deprived of his rights for up to 3 months. The third violation threatens a fine that has already increased to 1,500 euros and the loss of a driver’s license for the same period.
If there is more than 1.1 ppm in the blood, then in addition to the fine, the driver is imprisoned for 6 months and deprived of the rights to drive a car for 5 years.
Tags: auto, roads