Although regulations in Germany require drivers to create an emergency corridor after an accident, many of them did not do so after a truck has been driven onto cars in a traffic jam. The incident occurred on the German A5 motorway. The police issued dozens of tickets on the spot.
Last Thursday, a serious accident occurred in the German A5 near the town of Bruchsal. Soon the cars stood in a 20-kilometre-long traffic jam. According to the German media, the police caught red-handed more than 100 drivers blocking the emergency corridor over a distance of only 5 km. Officers issued tickets for a total amount of EUR 23,000.
— FAZ.NET (@faznet) March 8, 2019
Obligations of the driver and the emergency corridor
According to the German regulations (§ 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.
Vehicles on the left lane should turn as far as possible to the left and all others to the right, regardless of the number of lanes. However, it is 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
In October 2017 Germany tightened the penalties for the lack of an emergency corridor. Previously, the legislation provided for a fine of only EUR 20 for this offence. At present, the fines are between EUR 200 and 320 depending on the consequences of the offence.
Failure to create the corridor in Germany alone 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 in Germany.
– 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.