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Safe, climate-friendly and fair - This is what will change for motorists

Street signs stacked on top of each other

New year, new laws? The Federal Council is currently deciding on new road traffic regulations. The amendment to the StVO by Federal Minister Andreas Scheuer provides for the promotion of carpooling, car sharing, cycling and an increase in fines. Scheuer knows that a lot still needs to be done to make "our roads safer, more climate-friendly and fairer". But what exactly is changing?


Release of the special bus lanes for car pools

Up to now, the use of these special bus lanes has been restricted to regular services and, if necessary, also to taxis or bicycles, provided that the corresponding additional signs are visible. Now the special rights are also to apply to cars with multiple occupants. This will encourage carpooling, where at least three people travel in one car. The decision on the use of special rights for bus lanes must be made by the responsible road traffic authority. The aim of this measure is to reduce motorised individual traffic. By the way: Since 2015, e-cars have also been allowed to use this strip with the approval of the responsible road traffic authorities.

Marking of parking spaces for electric vehicles and car sharing

In order to make the offers more attractive, the responsible road traffic authority can provide separate parking spaces for car-sharing vehicles. These are then marked with a separate symbol, while the cars concerned receive a label (which visually resembles the fine dust sticker) that must be placed behind the windscreen. Owners of e-vehicles, on the other hand, will in future be able to identify parking spaces by means of markings on the road, in addition to the usual symbol.

Minimum overtaking distance to be increased

At what distance do you overtake pedestrians, cyclists or scooter riders? Most of the time, the distance is very small. Therefore, the previous wording "sufficient distance" will be replaced by 1.5 metres inside and 2 metres outside built-up areas.

Attention, emergency lane!

From now on, anyone who fails to form a rescue lane will have to pay a fine of up to 200.00 EUR and will receive two points in Flensburg. In future there will even be a one-month driving ban. Anyone who drives through the emergency lane or hangs on to an emergency vehicle will have to pay a fine of at least €240.00 and will receive two points in Flensburg and a one-month driving ban.

Motor vehicles over 3.5 t

In order to ensure road safety, a speed limit of 7 to 11 km/h is to be imposed on vehicles over 3.5 t turning right in built-up areas. Anyone who disregards this will have to pay a fine of 70.00 EUR and receive a penalty point in Flensburg.

New for cyclists

In order to convince more people that cycling is a good alternative, there will probably be a traffic sign "Radschnellweg". This will be independent of the road surface. In addition, the green arrow will be extended to cyclists, allowing them to turn right when there is a cycle lane or constructed cycle path without having to wait for the traffic lights to turn green. Furthermore, a green arrow will also be introduced, which only applies to cyclists. Cycling zones will also be established, which are to be oriented towards 30 km/h zones. For car drivers, the maximum speed limit of 30 km/h will also apply here and special caution will be exercised with regard to cycling traffic. Many cyclists will be pleased: the Federal Ministry clarifies that side-by-side cycling is permitted as long as traffic is not obstructed. You can read the entire amendment here.

We think it's great that safety and fairness in road traffic have been brought more into focus. The strong expansion of cycling regulations is also very positive.

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