Five km/h too fast, a little too close to the car in front or parked the wrong way. Seemingly minor offenses with the truck can quickly become expensive. These are the most important rules.
Deliberate speeding becomes expensive
Deadline pressure, traffic jams and construction sites – as a truck driver you have to deal with many challenges. When the traffic finally starts rolling, it is tempting to drive a few km/h faster than actually permitted. But be careful, it gets expensive quickly.
The following applies in principle: The higher the speed limit is exceeded, the higher the fine will be. Because the legislator assumes that minor violations often happen by mistake or carelessness. For the same reason, a tolerance of about 3 km/h is usually deducted for all speeding violations.
If the driver is clearly speeding, it is more likely that he or she has acted with intent. It also makes a difference whether you are speeding in built-up areas or outside them. For example, 15 km/h too fast on the speedometer costs 30 euros in built-up areas and only 25 euros in built-up areas.
Up to 680 euros fine for speeding
If the speed limit is exceeded by 16 km/h or more, points may also be added to the fine. If the speed limit exceeds 26 km/h, the offender also faces a driving ban. A maximum fine of 680 euros and a three-month driving ban are imposed on drivers who drive more than 60 km/h too fast in built-up areas.
So it’s better to stick to the speed limits! As with cars, trucks must drive at 50 km/h in built-up areas, 60 km/h outside built-up areas on single-lane roads and highways, and 80 km/h on freeways. Of course, the speed must also be adapted to the prevailing weather conditions.
In fog, the legally permissible speed for trucks is generally 50 km/h. By the way, watch out: the digital control unit also measures the speed. In this way, the police can still punish longstanding violations during checks.
Overtaking with a truck
Elephant racing is not tolerated
Overtaking with a truck takes longer due to the length and mass of the vehicles and their lower speed, therefore, according to the law, a truck may only overtake if the overtaking process does not end in a so-called "elephant race".
An elephant race is when a truck driver starts to overtake even though his own vehicle is only slightly faster than the other one. This is a prohibited overtaking method if the overtaking driver blocks the overtaking lane for the following traffic over a long distance, often several kilometers, due to the small difference in speed.
In a ruling by the Frankfurt Higher Regional Court (OLG), the court decided that an elephant race is present if the overtaking process lasts longer than 45 seconds and the speed difference between the overtaking driver and the overtaken driver is less than 10 km/h. If he is caught, the elephant race costs the overtaking driver 80 euros and a point in flensburg.
By the way: elephant races are not worthwhile. The small amount of time saved by such an overtaking procedure is disproportionate to the time saved by the truck Impairment of other traffic.
And: this also applies to passenger cars. Drivers are also asked to pay when overtaking with too little speed difference.
Overtaking despite overtaking ban for trucks
If traffic sign 277 (see picture below) is at the side of the road, this means that trucks are not allowed to overtake. Because it prescribes a ban on overtaking for motor vehicles with a permissible total weight of more than 3.5 t.
This sign is usually erected in front of traffic junctions, on steep gradients or to increase the flow of traffic and prevent accidents. If you ignore this sign and overtake anyway, you can expect a hefty fine. The overtaking offender must pay 70 euros and also receives a point in flensburg.
If a truck driver overtakes despite the no overtaking sign in connection with an unclear traffic situation, the fine increases to 150 euros plus a one-month driving ban and one point. If he endangers, obstructs or impairs oncoming traffic or even causes an accident, he can expect an increased fine of 85 to 300 euros. The ban on overtaking always applies until the "cancel" sign.
Even if you only overtake when there is no prohibition sign, you can still be asked to pay the fine. For example, if the distance to the person being overtaken is too small or the traffic situation is unclear, making overtaking reckless. This applies equally to overtaking trucks and other road users.
Parking the wrong way with a truck
Truck parking – please without endangering others
Parking the wrong way with a truck may sound a bit bizarre at first. After all, you don’t just park a 40-ton truck anywhere, you usually park it in the depot or in a suitable parking area.
However, in times of parking space shortage, truck drivers are forced time and again to park their work equipment in commercial or mixed-use areas or to squeeze into the last free corner on a highway parking lot. A situation that not only usually results in a restless night for the driver, but can also cost him a hefty fine. In addition, incorrectly parked trucks repeatedly lead to dangerous situations and serious accidents.
In principle, according to stvo: Cars and trucks may only park where they do not pose a danger or obstruction, and only where they are not prohibited by other traffic regulations or traffic signs. In addition, care must be taken at all times to ensure that the vehicle is parked in as space-saving a manner as possible. In purely residential areas, trucks are generally only allowed to park in exceptional cases.
You can find a suitable parking space using the KRAVAG TRUCK PARKING app and soon also via wedolo.
A wrongly parked truck costs up to 70 euros in fines
Anyone who parks their truck illegally pays a fine of between 10 and 35 euros – depending on whether they stop or park without permission, how long they stand there and whether they obstruct or endanger anyone in the process.
It is more expensive if the truck is parked illegally on freeways or highways, for example on the hard shoulder or on the access and exit ramps of rest areas. In this case, the driver will be fined 70 euros. In addition there is a point in flensburg.
Trailers or semitrailers without a tractor represent a special case. These trucks may be parked on public roads for a maximum of two weeks. The same rules apply as for trucks, i.e. space-saving and without danger or hindrance to others.
Driving without a seatbelt is not only reckless
The click sound before driving off should be a matter of course for all car and truck drivers by now – after all, the safety belt protects your own life in the event of an accident.
Since 1976, therefore, seat belts have been compulsory in germany, since 1984 also for passengers in the back seat. Nevertheless, there are still seat belt muffleurs. According to a survey by the Federal Highway Research Institute, only 88 percent of truck drivers on German roads were wearing seat belts in 2018. This means the reverse: 12 percent of truck drivers were on the road without wearing a safety belt.
This is not only reckless. If you are caught driving without a safety belt, you will be fined 30 euros. By the way, this also applies if you are caught in a speed camera and it is clearly visible in the photo that you are not wearing a safety belt.
In addition to driving at excessive speed, there is also a violation of the obligation to wear a seat belt, and it becomes much more expensive. Truck and car drivers are only exempt from the obligation to wear seat belts when reversing, driving at walking speed or in parking spaces.
cell phone use while driving: this penalty is imminent
People who are on the phone or typing messages are distracted and cannot devote their full concentration to the traffic situation. Distraction thus leads to dangerous situations and accidents. Anyone who uses their cell phone at the wheel of a motor vehicle – car or truck – must therefore reckon with a fine and points in flensburg.
The rules on cell phone use at the wheel are clearWhen the engine is running, the cell phone is taboo. Even when stopped at a red light, you must not pick it up – not even if the engine shuts off or is switched off when the truck is stationary.
"cell phone in hand" doesn’t just mean making phone calls, but basically everything else you can do with your smartphone, whether it’s typing a whatsapp message or starting google navigation. In short: everything is forbidden for which the cell phone must be taken in the hand or be held.
Cell phone offenders who do not comply will be asked to pay a noticeable fine of 100 euros. If an accident is proven to have occurred due to cell phone use at the wheel, the consequences for the driver are even more severe. Due to gross negligence of the person who caused the accident, his insurance can refuse to pay for damages incurred.
Load securing, driving bans and rest periods. If you’re on the road with a truck, you have to observe many other regulations – and quickly fall into the fine trap. Read more in our part 2 of the most important fine rules.