Everything is new in … February?!

Everything is new in ... February?!

It is not yet possible to predict exactly what will change in 2020 with regard to road traffic, because here in Germany, for example, the Bundesrat (upper house of parliament) will not deal with the road traffic regulations until around mid-February. Corresponding amendments will therefore be decided then. Several changes are planned, some of which I would like to introduce to you.

The drama with the emergency lane

Again and again, reports can be found in the media that in 2019 people seem to have deliberately not formed an emergency lane or that the particularly clever among the hurried road users have even joined the emergency vehicles roaring through the emergency lane casually. These so-called "rescue lane ruffians" face a higher fine for their misdemeanors this year.

However, it is not yet clear whether this will happen, as it is the Bundesrat (upper house of the German parliament) that will make a binding decision on changes to the road traffic regulations. This will happen in February. Instead of the usual 200 euro fine, those who are not able (or do not want to be able) to form an emergency lane properly will probably soon be fined 320 euros plus one month's driving license suspension and two points in the Flensburg penalty points database.

Can parking be a sin ..?

Definitely! Transport Minister Scheuer has set his sights on imposing stricter penalties on parking offences and making German roads safer for cyclists from 2020 onwards. So far the wrong parking in second row resp. parking on sidewalks and bike lanes cost a ridiculous 15 to 30 Euro fine. The tariff is drastically increased. It will soon cost 100 euros to stop at the edge of the road on sidewalks or bike lanes or on a so-called protective lane for cyclists. Parking in the second row will also be punished with a fine of up to 100 euros.

Make way, here comes a cyclist who wants to survive

Cyclists being passed by cars too close from the side is a constant annoyance and a constant danger that cyclists have to put up with every day on Germany's roads. In the future, pedestrians, e-trekkers and cyclists will have a minimum distance of 1.5 m inside built-up areas and 2 m outside built-up areas. Completely new: Soon there will be a traffic sign that prohibits cars from overtaking two-wheelers in certain areas altogether. In addition, cyclists can look forward to the fact that the green arrow will soon also apply to them when turning right and that they will not have to brake at every red light.

Environmental bonus, digital car radio and more diesel driving bans

A wildly mixed bundle of innovations is coming to road users in 2020.

If you are thinking of becoming electrically mobile, you should look into all the new developments on the subject of the environmental bonus, because in future there will be more money for the purchase of e-cars from the state.
Only from the end of the year in December 2020, it will be mandatory that all new cars must be equipped with a DAB+ car radio. DAB+ has a larger program range in the FM range than many conventional car radios. Critics, however, question the usefulness of this measure and ask whether it would not have been better to switch to Internet streaming for radio reception at the wheel.

Hamburg and Stuttgart are debating whether to tighten driving bans on diesels in light of particulate matter levels that are still too high in certain urban areas. Who is concerned and on appropriate routes may be on the road, should inform themselves currently, where and how bans exist.

Lappland: Innovations around the driver's license

Those who have acquired their driving license on an automatic car will soon not have to take a completely new official test in order to be allowed to drive a car with a manual transmission as well. In the future, an aptitude test by a driving instructor should be sufficient, which must be preceded by a few additional driving hours. The test fees for a further official test are omitted with such a regulation.

Under certain conditions, light motorcycles with an engine capacity of up to 125 cubic centimeters may be driven by drivers who are at least 25 years old and have held a class B driver's license for 5 years, after 13.5 hours of practical and theoretical training, without an additional test.

Whether young people can get a moped license at the age of 15 or 16, the states will soon be allowed to decide for themselves.

Insurance premiums, turn assist for long trucks and HU sticker color

A change in the type classes of the motor vehicle insurance is pending. 4.6 million drivers will benefit from the reclassifications, but unfortunately 6.5 million will have to pay more. (The type classes are divided according to the risk of damage for the different vehicle models – the insurance premium is based on the risk of damage.)

Particularly long trucks (18.75 to 25.25 meters) must be equipped with a so-called turn assist system. Also, these giga trucks are supposed to have flashing side marker lights. This equipment is required by law in Germany from 1. July 2020.

It's always worth taking a look at the license plate: if you see a blue sticker, you need to carry out your general inspection this year. If this is achieved, there will be a brown sticker instead – and peace from the TuV until 2022.

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