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Traffic fines to rise by 30% in Hungary starting September

Traffic fines in Hungary will increase by 30% from September. The newly amended traffic regulations apply to all traffic offences, from speeding and driving time violations to overweight axles. Instead of increasing fines, the local hauliers' organisation recommends more frequent and effective HGV checks for foreign hauliers.

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The latest government decree was published in Magyar Közlöny on Monday 14 August and takes effect on 1 September.

As we have found out, the amendments increase the amount of fines that can be imposed for traffic offences: 30% higher.

The rise applies to all traffic offences. Some examples of the new rates:

  • the minimum fine for speeding will be HUF 39,000 (approx 100 euros), and the maximum will be HUF 390,000 (approx 100 euros) from 1 September,
  • driving through a red light will cost 65,000 forints (approx  168 euros),
  • overweight lorries can result in fines between HUF 65,000 (approx  168 euros) and HUF 650,000 (approx  1680 euros),
  • driving on the hard shoulder  is punishable by a fine of HUF 130,000 (approx  336 euros),
  • failure to comply with an entry prohibition costs HUF 39,000 (approx 100 euros) and driving against traffic costs HUF 65,000 (approx  168 euros)..

Some fines related to goods transport

  • missing international transportation permit: more than HUF 1 million (approx 2700 euros),
  • the driver does not have a CPC card: HUF 130,000 (approx  336 euros),
  • transporting persons or goods without a licence: HUF 780,000 (approx 2000 euros)
  • missing consignment note: HUF 39,000 (approx 100 euros),
  • if the foreign driver is unable to provide the information required to check the “posted worker” documents at the roadside, a fine of HUF 260,000 (approx 670 euros) can be issued
  • cabotage activity during the 4-day „cooling off” period: HUF 390,000 (approx 1000 euros),
  • for exceeding driving time, the fine ranges from HUF 13,000 (approx 14 euros) to HUF 390,000 (approx 1000 euros), depending on the time and the type of driving time (daily, weekly, extended daily, combined weekly, etc.).

Some fines related to tachographs and tachograph cards are as follows:

  • no tachograph: HUF 1,040,000 (approx 2700 euros),
  • use of more than one tachograph card HUF 520,000 (approx 1350 euros),
  • using a false tachograph card: 780,000 (approx 2000 euros),
  • no tachograph card: HUF 1,040,000 (approx 2700 euros),
  • „improper use” of the tachograph: HUF 520,000 (approx 1350 euros) for both the driver and the haulier,
  • if a device or equipment is used which is capable of altering the information recorded by the tachograph: HUF 1,040,000 (approx 2700 euros) for both the driver and the company.

State should earn money by fining more foreigners, local hauliers’ organisation recommends

Commenting last week on the amendments, which were still at the draft stage at the time, the MKFE suggested to the State Secretary for Transport that instead of increasing fines, more and more effective controls should be introduced, especially for foreigners, to replace the expected revenue from increased fines.

Among other things, the MKFE recommended that the government focus more on foreign hauliers in its inspections, such as the use of licences by foreigners or BiReg registration, sanctioning third-country hauliers for not using smart tachographs (24 August, i.e. after the new regulations came into force).

Also, the 30% increase in fines will further aggravate the driver shortage, according to the Association of Hungarian Road Carriers MKFE.

“It is a general opinion in the profession (…) that the high fines imposed for less serious offences contribute significantly to the increase of the critical labour shortage that characterises the profession and to the discouragement of young workers. Overall, the high fines represent a competitive disadvantage for Hungarian passenger and goods transport companies, and this also affects the realisation of the government’s 10% GDP productive capacity target for the logistics sector,” MKFE’s letter reads.