Driving on German roads is very well regulated and if you dont adhere to the rules you will get penalty points against your name as well as hefty fines. When you reach a certain amount of points (currently 8) your licence can be suspended. Ignorance of road rules is not an excuse.
The ADAC (Allgemeiner Deutscher Automobil-Club) website has the following information:
- a list of the Traffic signs – the descriptions are in German
- the Traffic Rules(in German)
- The signs you have to learn very fast are the Road priority signs, Wikipedia has a list of road signs in English, but this is not an official German authority site
According to ADAC, radar detectors are prohibited and if you use them you risk a fine. Regardless of whether it is integrated into the Navi system or installed on your mobile phone, or an external device. You are however allowed to download such apps on your smartphone. You can use it before your journey to inform yourself where the speed cameras are, but you are not allowed to use them while driving. If you are stopped during traffic checks, and the app is active you will get a fine.
Some basic road rules
|Children||Children up to 12 years of age who are smaller than 1.5 metres are only allowed to ride in a child seat. There are various models depending on the child’s age and height. The right selection will determine your child’s safety.|
|Emergency Lanes||” Die Rettunsgasse muss bereits gebildet werden, sobald der Verkehr stockt und nicht erst, wenn die Rettungskräfte mit Blaulicht und Martinshorn kommen. “
The emergency lane must be formed as soon as the traffic stops and not only when the emergency services come with blue light and a siren.
|First aid kit in the vehicle DIN 13164||In your car you must have a safety vest (it is even better if you have one for each passenger), a warning triangle and an up to date first aid kit.
As from Feb 2022 – two mouth and nose covers must be included in your kit
|Reflective vest||In your car you must have a safety vest (it is even better if you have one for each passenger), a warning triangle and an up to date first aid kit.|
|Warning triangle||In your car you must have a safety vest (it is even better if you have one for each passenger), a warning triangle and an up to date first aid kit.|
|Fuel||Running out of fuel on the Autobahn is an offence and you can get a fine.|
|In the case of an accident||In an emergency with injured persons, you should immediately phone the number 112.
In a non-emergency, you should phone 110 for the police.
Remain at the accident site until the police have arrived.
Whoever has damaged a parked car and cannot reach the owner should inform the police and must wait until the accident has been reported. Leaving a note is not enough.
Causing an accident and leaving the scene is considered a hit and run and will be punished with a monetary fine or imprisonment up to three years.
If your car breaks down on the highway, put on your emergency vest, set up the warning triangle and wait for help in safety behind the guardrail.
|Motorcycle helmet||If you drive a moped, scooter or motorcycle, you must always wear a helmet. The same applies to the passenger.|
|Roundabout / Traffic Circle||Give way to the left unless signed otherwise.|
|Seat belts||Compulsory for all passengers.|
|Winter Tyres||Compulsory in Winter conditions. Rule of thumb – O bis O (Oktober bis Ostern)|
|Priority road (priority at all following intersections up to an end-of-priority-road, yield or stop sign).|
|Sign at an intersection and a definition of the priority. The Thick line has priority. Note that vehicles coming from west must give way to vehicles coming from south (due to right-hand priority).|