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Despite the tightening of penalties in Germany for blocking the emergency corridor, many drivers are still committing this offence. A truck driver temporarily lost his driving licence for not complying with the German regulations.

At the end of September 2018, there was a serious accident on the German A7 motorway near Göttingen. Rescue services tried to get to the place, unfortunately, the road to the injured was blocked by a truck. On the three lanes of the motorway, three trucks stood next to each other, making it impossible for rescuers and the police to help the injured. On the basis of photographs taken by the police, a driver occupying the central belt of the A7 was fined 240 euros by the District Court of Hannoversch Münden and sentenced to a monthly driving ban.

Obligations of the driver and the emergency corridor

According to the German law (§ 11 (2) StVO – Road Traffic Regulation), an emergency corridor should be created when traffic stops, not only when rescue vehicles are already on the way to the victims.

To this end, vehicles on the left lane must turn as far as possible to the left and all others to the right, regardless of the number of lanes. It is also important not to stop in the emergency lane, which must be accessible to vehicles in the event of a breakdown or to the police.

Fines for blocking the emergency corridor

Penalties for the lack of an emergency corridor were tightened in Germany in October 2017. Previously, German law only provided for a fine of 20 euros for this misdemeanour. At present, the fines are between EUR 200 and 320 depending on the consequences of the offence.

Failure to create a corridor in Germany may result in a fine of 200 euros and 2 penalty points.

– Failure to create an emergency corridor, which will lead to the blocking of the emergency services vehicle, will result in a 240 euro fine, 2 penalty points and a driving ban for a period of 1 month.

– For failure to create an emergency corridor leading to danger to life or health, e.g. of a firefighter or an injured person, the person may get 280 euro fine, 2 penalty points and a driving ban for a period of 1 month.

– For failure to create an emergency corridor leading to property damage, a fine of 320 euros, 2 penalty points and a driving ban for a period of 1 month is envisaged.

In addition, from 30 May 2017, blocking the emergency corridor may result in criminal charges. A prison sentence of up to 1 year (§ 323c of the German Penal Code – StGB) may be imposed for deliberately obstructing the provision of assistance to victims.

Photo: ŠJů, Wikimedia Commons

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