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Is the new StVO invalid?
New road traffic regulations were introduced at the end of April. Motorists are affected by higher fines and driving bans. Before the amendment, if motorists were still flashed or tasered for exceeding 10 kilometres per hour in built-up areas, a fine of EUR 30.00 was imposed. Before 28 April 2020, the fine was EUR 15.00. Exceeding 21 km/h in built-up areas and 26 km/h in built-up areas can result in a driving ban of one month. You can find out the latest information here.
Does a formal error make penalty notices null and void?
After great unrest, those responsible rowed back a little. There was discussion about considering the old catalogue of fines as valid again. According to the Federal Ministry of Transport, the new StVO is void due to a missing reference to the necessary legal basis. Federal Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer also states that this would mean that 100,000 penalty notices could be contested, as they were issued between 28 April and the beginning of July in accordance with the invalid catalogue of fines. Drivers who received a penalty notice during this period are therefore advised to seek legal advice. Traffic lawyers decide individually whether an appeal is worthwhile. One regulation that will remain in force in any case is the distance rule to cyclists and e-scooters. According to the new regulation, a distance of 1.5 to 2 m must be maintained.
Regulations in the individual federal states
In Bavaria, Hesse, Saarland, Brandenburg, Lower Saxony, Rhineland-Palatinate, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Berlin, Saxony and North Rhine-Westphalia, the fines according to the old Road Traffic Regulations apply. Actions that led to the loss of the driving licence in Hamburg are to be reset according to certain conditions. However, the motorist must prove that the loss of driving licence would otherwise lead to a loss of job. In Schleswig-Holstein, driving licences are only returned if they have not yet been legally pronounced. Baden-Württemberg, Bremen and Saxony-Anhalt pardon most traffic offenders and return driving licences to those who have been convicted. Fines must still be paid in the amount of the new catalogue of fines. In Thuringia, neither fines nor driving bans are currently enforced under the new StVO. Violations will continue to be recorded, but will not be punished until later. When there will be a concrete decision for the Road Traffic Regulations remains to be seen. Consumer centres and internet platforms offer free advice should an objection be made on their part.
Regulations in other countries
For speeding in Russia, a fine of 12.00 EUR must be paid if the speed limit has been exceeded by at least 20 km/h. The Russian catalogue of fines provides a list of fines. However, the Russian catalogue of fines also stipulates that a driving ban of 4 to 6 months applies if the speed limit has been exceeded by 40-60 km/h. If the speed limit is exceeded again, a driving ban may be imposed. In case of a repetition, a driving ban of one year is threatened. In the United States, the rules are stricter, with a fine of €180.00 for exceeding the limit by 10-15 km/h in built-up areas. In Switzerland, a fine of 229.00 EUR must be paid for 11-15 km/h over the permitted speed limit in built-up areas. The fines in the Netherlands are also much higher than in Germany. Driving 10 km/h over the permitted speed limit in built-up areas is punished with a fine of 67.00 EUR.
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