• Germany's news in English
 

Germany revs up traffic violations system

Published: 28 Feb 2012 16:33 GMT+01:00

Careless drivers in Germany will still rack up points in Flensburg – the northern city where the country’s traffic authority is located. But they could now lose their licences more quickly after changes to how road violation points are calculated.

Offences will now only carry penalties of one or two points rather than up to seven. But it will only take eight points rather than the previous 18 to have your driving licence revoked.

“We want to make the system simpler, fairer and more transparent,” said Ramsauer at a press conference in Berlin.

The minister presented his pet project with a giant “Point Tachometer” designed to grant motorists a visual representation of how close just a few points can bring them to losing their licences.

While one to three points is still in the green, four to five revs the needle up into yellow and gets you a warning from Flensburg. Six to seven hits red and triggers an invitation to an obligatory driving seminar. Anything over eight points pushes the tachometer into black and you can start buying bus tickets.

Scheduled to take effect in 2013, the reform would also remove the chances for drivers to reduce their violation points by taking remedial classes.

“There shouldn’t be a point rebate for traffic hooligans,” Ramsauer said.

The Transport Ministry estimates the changes will boost the number people losing their licences each year by 10 percent. But registered traffic offences will be limited to dangerous driving – so other things such as not having the right sticker for an urban environmental zone will no longer earn you a point.

And though it will take longer for points to be erased in Flensburg – drink driving points will last 10 instead of five years – each violation will have its own expiration date. Anyone currently with points on the record will have their offences automatically converted to the new system.

“There will be no general amnesty,” said Ramsauer, who must now work up draft legislation for parliament’s consideration.

The German motorist group ADAC has welcomed the reforms as long overdue, but a police union dismissed it as “political shadowboxing.”

DPA/The Local/mry

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

17:21 February 28, 2012 by carlm
"Political shadowboxing." Don't know anything about the details of this new move, but I suspect it's another clown trying to make "points" for himself by taking away more money and freedom from the citizens. I wish him the worst.
18:50 February 28, 2012 by Englishted
¦quot;We want to make the system simpler, fairer and more transparent,¦quot; said Ramsauer at a press conference in Berlin.

Translated as "we want to make more money " in fines.
19:34 February 28, 2012 by bjerkebek
how about a national speed limit, defensive driving lessons and some traffic cops to write tickets. this country has the worse, most aggressive, melodramatic drivers in the world. the motorcycle drivers literally have a death wish.
07:52 February 29, 2012 by DrWho
A national speed limit isn't needed. I'm thinking some of the comments above are from people who like driving in the left lane most of the time, and who think that putting their turn signal on automatically means they have clearance to change lanes.

There are too many 120km or less already posted for "traffic management" or other reasons. Shadow National Speed Limits is what I call them.
09:18 February 29, 2012 by The-ex-pat
22:20 February 28, 2012 by Chango Mutney

Common sense would suggest there should be a national speed limit, and a more constructive driving test to discourage kami kaze car drivers and motorcyclists.

Germany already has one of the hardest driving tests. In the UK or America for example, there is no requirement for a minimum number of hours, night driving, city, country or motorway driving before you take your test. Personally, I think that over the last 20 years the standard of German driving has improved vastly. When I first got here, tailgating on the Autobahn was at epidemic levels. You could not venture in the left lain without headlights and indicators flashing at you, something that you seldom see today. The no speed limit on the Autobahns is slowly by stealth a thing of the past. 120 kph traffic "management speed" is creeping in all over the place. Also another factor to add to the comments here depend on your upbringing. American's have been educated to believe that travelling any faster then 55mph will result in death, Brits likewise but 70 mph. It is hard to get that out of the system when you come to Germany. As for the proposed changed, it is psychological window dressing. 6x3 or 8x1 is going to get the same result. Just another politician trying to get in some media time.

And remember;

You can steal a man's money, you can bed his wife and daughter for a threesome, video it and upload it to youtube, but to criticise him as drive, that is the ultimate insult......
10:52 February 29, 2012 by raandy
This new system will do little to improve courtesy and dangerous and aggressive driving, which in many places is a serious violation whether you are driving with in the speed limit or not.

The use of blitzers is good for increasing revenue but little else. These devices are soon noticed and everyone slows for them and then jumps on the accelerator to warp factor 6 again, weaving in and out of lanes , flashing lights, blinkers and horns .I usually let my German wife drive on the infamous German auto bahn, to aggressive for me.

Ex Pat,, I agree it has improved over the last years maybe in a few more I will take up the challenge of autobahn driving again, if I can get my wife out behind the wheel :-)
12:32 February 29, 2012 by ERAUst
I have been here for ten years and I hate sometimes driving on the autobahn. I always get someone tailgating me no matter how fast I drive. There always going to be that reckless driver that has to prove there worth of the formula 1 circuit on the autobahns.

There is a small 20km stretch on the autobahn between Frankfurt and Koln where I have seen more accidents in a three years than I have in my entire life. This mostly because of bad drives hitting sharp curves and steep hills while trying to keep "Good Time" with there driving. There an even autobahn polizei station at the particular 20 km stretch. Yet I have never seen anyone pulled over in that area for bad driving during those three years and I drove up down that stretch allot over those years.

Fact is you can impose as many laws as you like it is not going to do any good unless you get the polizei out there to enforce those laws. So change the law we still going to have the same problem.
13:04 February 29, 2012 by McM
A pity this new system doesn't include the 'we own the world ' ratbag cyclist minority running lights , changing lanes ,blame everyone else, ....and terrorizing pedestrians all over the place with their self centered attitude to road safety and social transport manners. OK, so I am stirring a bit but this road problem it is at epidemic proportions in Germany.

I agree with the motor vehicle system change but it would be great to see a bit of attention to our precious two wheel rebels. I don't mean all cyclists just those that disregard the road rules. Good for the goose, good for the gander.
15:33 February 29, 2012 by hanskarl
@ERAUst: "I always get someone tailgating me no matter how fast I drive."

Might we suggest that you be a little more attentive to your limousines rear view mirror and move to the right to let the überspeeder pass? It seems to work for me and many of us. I believe there is also a law on the Autobahn to not pass on the right unlike American interstates and expressways.
09:53 March 2, 2012 by Clausrock
Yes, it is another person wanting their 15 minutes of fame. Germany already has the best traffic system I have seen in all of Europe and America. Do not fix what is not broken. Be thankful you do not have the Italian or Indian system. Enjoy what you have. Get the authorities to get away from the 2 lane B roads and 4 lane A roads. The traffic circles here are the best for control. Some metropolitan areas need a ring road around them for traffic congestion problems.
22:09 March 7, 2012 by Ecurie Ecosse01
In America the cops are setting up fake road works and speed traps. If caught speeding near or in Roadworks the fine and points are double. I believe that in the Netherlands that the speeding fine is also double in roadworks.

A minister in the UK has just resigned due to him transfering speeding points to his wife. They are now going through a divorce and both have now been charged with perverting the course of justice.
Today's headlines
Pro-Kremlin bikers defy bans on Berlin ride
Photo: DPA

Pro-Kremlin bikers defy bans on Berlin ride

Dozens of bikers from pro-Kremlin gang the Night Wolves on Saturday set off on a ride to Berlin ahead of the anniversary of Soviet victory in World War II, despite Poland and Germany barring the riders. READ  

VW patriarch Piëch resigns
Photo: DPA

VW patriarch Piëch resigns

Volkswagen patriarch Ferdinand Piëch, has resigned as head of the German auto giant's supervisory board with immediate effect, the company announced Saturday. READ  

Schumacher Jr lives up to his name
Schumacher Jr is too young to drink any of that champagne. Photo: DPA

Schumacher Jr lives up to his name

Mick Schumacher Jr did his famous father proud on his Formula Four debut on Saturday by claiming a trophy as the best rookie and finishing ninth, despite starting 19th. READ  

Deutsche Bank to sell Postbank
Deutsche Bank acquired Postbank in 2008. Photo: DPA

Deutsche Bank to sell Postbank

Germany's biggest lender Deutsche Bank announced late Friday it was seeking to sell its Postbank subsidiary as part of a revamp to improve profitability. READ  

Far left activists attack immigration office
Photo: DPA

Far left activists attack immigration office

Far-left extremists attacked an immigration office in Leipzig early on Friday morning. It was the second targeted attack on an official building in the city in recent months. READ  

Steinmeier: Armenia wasn't genocide
Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Photo:DPA

Steinmeier: Armenia wasn't genocide

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier insisted on Friday that calling Armenian massacres genocide risks belittling the Holocaust, after President Joachim Gauck broke a taboo by using the word on Thursday. READ  

Schumacher Jr launches Formula race career
Mick Schumacher on test day earlier in April. Photo: DPA

Schumacher Jr launches Formula race career

Michael Schumacher's 16-year-old son starts his Formula Four career this weekend, under the pressure of living up to the famous family name of the seven-time Formula One world champion. READ  

Property of the week
In Pictures: The Local's Property of the Week
Photo: Mr Lodge

In Pictures: The Local's Property of the Week

A highly sought-after location, great connection to public transport, and a very stylish interior – Does that sound good to you? Then you’ll love this week’s property! READ  

Germany's most polluted cities
The sun rises behind a coal-burning power station in Lower Saxony. Photo: DPA

Germany's most polluted cities

The Federal Environment Ministry has named the most polluted places around the country, with Stuttgart claiming the undesirable title of Germany's most polluted city. READ  

Göring's daughter fails in bid to win father's assets
Edda Göring photographed in 1942. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Göring's daughter fails in bid to win father's assets

The Bavarian government rejected on Thursday an attempt by Hermann Göring's daughter to win back her father's assets, which the government seized in 1948. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
German beer day: take the tour
Features
Off to Norway at 18 km/hour
Shutterstock
Sponsored Article
10 things you didn’t know about Zagreb (and why you should go)
Gallery
The smileys Germans love to text
Sponsored Article
What expat parents should ask before choosing a school
National
Expats face Monday deadline to register to vote for UK election
Politics
A Greek learning politics in Germany
Features
The battle of the "Gates of Berlin"
National
Germany's favourite baby names of 2014
National
Germany's 'very poor' lobbying record
National
VIDEO: Mario Draghi suffers anti-ECB confetti attack
Politics
Merkel's 15 years at the top of German politics
Features
Spice up asparagus season with The Local's serving suggestions
Travel
Lowest of the low: how woman exploited Germanwings crash
Sport
Football and the €30,000 firework
Technology
Why scientists oppose killer robots
National
Germanwings co-pilot 'searched suicide info'
Technology
Electrifying 'Ostalgia'
National
Which city is Germany's worst for drivers?
National
'Cannibal cop' gets 8 years
Can the 'nightmare' of a pilot downing a plane be prevented?
National
LIVE: Co-pilot suspected of crashing plane
Pupils mourn lost classmates
National
Freed after 25 years on death row
National
Cologne Cathedral returns from space
Features
Paddy's Day, Berlin style
Is your workload 'out of control'? You're not alone...
National
Why east Germans are happy to get it on on camera
National
What would you do with a 250-year-old pretzel?
Features
Just why is the German flag Schwarz, Rot, Gold?
Business & Money
Getting German workers and bosses thinking positive
National
Uplifting thoughts to get you through the last week of winter
National
Who wants the Olympics more - Hamburg or Berlin?
National
Last-minute drama of Germany's Eurovision 2015 entry
National
German photographer takes world's top prize
Features
Meet the woman getting Germans to drink more – and better – beer
Gallery
Get inspired for International Women's Day with German heroes
Green party proposes first-ever cannabis legalization plan
Gallery
In pictures: Germany's seven most livable cities
National
Singapore canes Germans for train graffiti
Politics
Surprise! Germans love feeling like they run the EU
Politics
Anger over plan to show women what men earn
Travel
Munich tram fans bicker over new bell
Features
Kafka: puzzling translators 100 years on
Business & Money
France or Germany: Which country really is the best country to work in?
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

7,180
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd