The new 2019 schedule of penalties – an overview for truck drivers

    The schedule of penalties for trucks is always being adapted a little, so it is important that you as a driver keep the exact rules and also the penalties for offences in mind. We have compiled the most important rules and penalties for you.

    This happens if you do not comply with the truck overtaking ban.

    You know that you are only allowed to overtake if the whole process does not take longer than 45 seconds. However, this is only the case if the driver of the truck in front of you is driving at least 10 km/h slower than you. It is particularly annoying when it is only about seven to eight kilometres per hour slower and costs you valuable time. Nevertheless, you should keep in mind that a violation can be expensive. If you overtake at a speed difference of less than ten kilometres per hour, according to the schedule of penalties for trucks this will cost you 80 euros, and you will get one point on your licence (German system).

    If you are caught overtaking in a 3.5 tonne truck where the overtaking ban applies, you will be fined 70 euros. If you endanger someone, this sum rises to 85 euros, in the case of an accident to 105 euros. In addition, in all three cases you will receive one point on your licence. You also get a point added if you obstruct oncoming traffic while overtaking, but the fine is then 150 euros. If your behaviour endangers oncoming traffic, you will not only get two points added to your licence and pay 250 euros, but you will also be banned from driving for one month. If an accident occurs with oncoming traffic because you violate the overtaking ban, you will also be banned from driving for one month, get two points added to your licence and pay a fine of 300 euros.

    Why you should pay attention to the speed in your truck

    The rules are simple. With a truck of any length and weight, you can travel up to 50 kilometres per hour in urban areas. On the motorway, the maximum permissible speed is 80 kilometres per hour. On country roads or federal highways on which passenger cars may travel at 100 km/h, a maximum permissible speed of 80 km/h applies for trucks up to 7.5 tonnes and 60 km/h for trucks over 7.5 tonnes.

    If you exceed the speed limit in urban areas by up to 10 km/h, this will cost you 20 euros, up to 15 km/h 30 euros. More than 15 and less than 20 km/h is more expensive: You pay 80 euros and get one point added to your licence. The same applies to a speeding offence of up to 25 km/h, but the fine here is as high as 95 euros. If you travel 25 to 60 kilometres per hour too fast in urban areas, you get two points added to your licence and the fine rises from 240 to 680 euros. In addition, you will be banned from driving for up to three months.

    Outside built-up areas the fine starts at 15 euros, rising to 25 if you are up to 15 km/h over the limit. If, however, you are caught travelling more than five minutes in a row or for the second time after starting your journey with up to 15 km/h over the limit, you will have to pay 70 euros and get one point added to your licence.

    This is why you should not exceed the permissible truck length

    The length of the truck not only plays a role when turning off, but also on the motorway if you want to overtake. It is important for you to know that the articulated truck together with its trailer can be up to 16.5 metres long. In the case of a trailer combination where there is a gap between the truck and the trailer, 18.75 metres are also permitted. The trailers must never be longer than 12 metres. There are exemptions, for example, for heavy haulage and some agricultural or forestry equipment.

    Seatbelts for trucks have been compulsory in Germany since 1992.

    Yes, before 1992 trucks were actually built without seatbelts. Since that time, however, this is no longer the case, and anyone who has a seatbelt in their cab must also put it on. There are a number of drivers who find the belt a hindrance, but you should not drive without it. Apart from the fact that the belt protects you and that you will not have any problems with the insurance in the event of an accident if you use it as prescribed, the schedule of penalties for trucks also includes a fine of 30 euros if you are caught without your seatbelt fastened.

    The tiresome subject of driving times and rest periods

    They make it more difficult to keep to deadlines, and yet you should keep to the rest periods and not exceed the driving times. Otherwise, it can quickly become expensive, both for you and for your employer. It does not help you if you do not hand over or carry your driver card. If you make it more difficult to check your driving times, it will cost you 75 euros – if you make it impossible, you can be fined 250 euros.

    It gets really expensive if you spend the prescribed weekly rest period in a place without a suitable place to sleep or in your truck. Your employer can be fined up to 1,500 euros, and you up to 500 euros.

    If you exceed the permitted daily driving time, you can be fined 30 euros for the first hour. After that, it quickly becomes very expensive. For each additional half hour you pay another 30 euros and your employer 90 euros. If you exceed your daily driving time by more than two hours, every additional 30 minutes will cost you 60 euros and your employer 180 euros.

    If you fall below your daily rest period by up to one hour, you can be fined 30 euros. This also applies to the next two hours, except that your employer also pays 90 euros per hour in this case. If you shorten your rest period by more than three hours, each hour will cost you 60 euros and your employer 180 euros.

    Also if you shorten the driving time break period, the legislator knows no leniency. For as little as 15 minutes you can be fined 30 euros and a fine of 90 euros imposed on your employer. Each additional quarter hour of shortened driving time break period costs you 60 euros and your employer 180 euros. It is therefore both in your interest and in that of your employer that you comply with the driving and rest times.

    Keep a safe distance

    On motorways in particular, accidents can happen far too easily due to drivers not keeping a safe distance from the vehicle in front. If you are caught driving on a motorway with more than 50 kilometres per hour and keeping less than 50 metres distance to the person in front, you face a fine of 80 euros – and a point on your licence, which is particularly bitter.

    Do not exceed the drink-drive limit

    There is nothing wrong with drinking a beer after work. If, however, you drink several or if it does not stop at beer and you have not completely absorbed the alcohol by the next day, things can quickly become dangerous. Apart from the fact that your reflexes are slower and you pose a risk to yourself and other road users, if you are caught with more than 0.5 per mille you will also face a heavy fine. The first time you get a month driving ban and two points on your licence as well as a fine of 500 euros. The second time the fine rises to 1,000 euros and the third time to 1,500 euros. Again, there is a one month driving ban and two points on your licence. If you are caught with more than 1.09 per mille, you will not only lose your driving licence for one month, but also get three penalty points added to it.

    If you are driving a hazardous goods transporter, you should refrain from drinking alcohol during breaks throughout the entire journey, as the 0.0 per mille rule applies here. In many other countries, you are also not allowed to have any alcohol in your blood at all, so you should always check carefully before crossing the border. In fact, this is also a sensible option in Germany. If you have endangered traffic and are found to have a blood alcohol level of 0.3 or more, you will get three points added to your licence and a one month driving ban!

    Summary: Protect your job by sticking to the rules

    The legislator knows exactly where to hit professional drivers in order to hurt them the most. For this reason, many of the rules are subject not only to certain fines according to the schedule of penalties for trucks, but also to points on your licence or a temporary driving ban. Since this means that you can no longer do your job, it is especially important that you follow the rules. In order to reduce the pressure exerted on drivers by employers, they are also subject to sometimes very heavy financial penalties if they give you assignments for which you have to violate the rules.

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