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Munich - Driving Tips

In the event of an accident, exchange names and insurance details (on the Fahrzeugschein) with the other party. The police must be called to every accident on 110. Leaving the scene of an accident is an offence.

Autobahns (and clearways):
Every vehicle driving on an Autobahn or a clearway must be able to travel at 60km per hour. Although Autobahns have no true speed limit, the advised maximum speed is 130km/h. Lower speed limits occur on some stretches of the Autobahn due to roadwork or Lärmschutz (noise pollution) areas, and must be observed.
Vehicles on the Autobahn have priority over merging traffic from the accelerating lane.
No stopping, parking, U-turns or reversing is allowed. In the event of an accident, emergency phones are located every two kilometres. Someone will answer when you lift the receiver.

Blood Alcohol Level:
Driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.3 parts per thousand, ie .03 can be a criminal offence if the driver is 'evidently' no longer able to drive the vehicle safely. Examples of this evidence given in the driving book include having the wrong lights turned on, driving extremely slowly and carefully and showing noticeable reactions in reaction tests.
0.5 parts per thousand is the legal blood alcohol limit. If you are caught over this you can be fined, have 4 black marks added to your licence record, and face a driving ban.
Driving with a blood alcohol level of 1.1 parts per thousand is always a criminal offence, even if you show no noticeable signs of being unfit to drive. If you are caught your permit to drive can be withdrawn and you can be fined or imprisoned or both.

Bikes are a very popular form of transport, particularly in Summer, so watch out for the following:
Watch for bikes when turning right, as often there are trees between the bike path and the road, so cyclists can be hidden. They have right of way.
You should always leave 1.5m clearance when overtaking a bike.
As a cyclist, be aware that the above blood alcohol limits to drivers of motor vehicles also apply to you when you're on a bike. If the police catch you, they can deduct points from your driving licence for offences committed whilst on a bike!

Documents to Carry:
You must ALWAYS carry your driving licence and the Fahrzeugschein (vehicle registration certificate) for your car when driving. The Fahrzeugschein should not be left in the vehicle when parked.
You must also carry a first aid kit and traffic warning triangle in an easily accessible place.

Driving Offences:
Different amounts of 'black marks' are issued for offences of different levels.
Your licence is withdrawn if you reach or exceed 18 black marks.
Black marks are generally cancelled after 2 years, after 5 years if 'punishment' is imposed, after 10 years if more than three months' imprisonment is imposed.

If you're under the influence or a regular drug taker (one hashish cigarette a day is considered a regular user) you are considered unfit to drive.

Level Crossings:
Turn off your engine when stopped at a level crossing.

Licence Validity:
If you need to update your licence, this must be done within six months of arrival in Germany. Some licences are transferable to German licences, otherwise you need to sit the test. See the Transport Section for more information. The German licence is issued for life.

Mobile Phones:
Drivers are not permitted to use a mobile phone or a car phone when driving if this means that they have to lift or hold the mobile phone or the receiver of the car phone.

No right turn on red!

Overtake only on the left.
You can use your horn and flash your headlights to signal overtaking when outside built-up areas.

Most cars have a blue parking disk with a clock on it to leave on the dashboard. Round your arrival time up to the nearest half hour and display the parking disk with this time.
"Mit Parkschein" means with a ticket from a parking machine (leave this on the dashboard).
It's the driver's responsibility to ensure that all passengers in the vehicle do not open their doors unless it's safe, which includes passengers on the curb side whose doors may hit a pedestrian or cyclist.

Pedestrian Crossings:
Unlike Eastern Europe, German drivers stop for pedestrians at pedestrian crossings.

If a police car in front of you flashes "Bitte folgen" it means please follow.

Right of Way:
If there are no roadsigns or traffic lights, the vehicle on the right has right of way.

Roadside Assistance:
For emergency roadside assistance, and other motoring benefits, join ADAC (the Allgemeiner Deutscher Automobil Club: General German Car Club). The information number is 0180 5 10 11 12, and the emergency assistance number is + 49 (0)180 222 2222.

Only indicate when leaving a roundabout.

Seat belts:
Seat belts are compulsory unless you are a taxi driver or a chauffeur transporting passengers, a door-to-door delivery driver, or the car is travelling at walking pace ie manoeuvring in car parks.

Snow chains :
The speed limit for all vehicles with snow chains fitted is 50 km/h.

If the speed limit is not signposted, stick to the following rules of thumb:
50km/h in a built-up area.
80km/h if towing a trailer.
100km/h outside built-up areas.
A white number on blue circle denotes a minimum speed limit.
A white number on a blue square denotes a recommended speed.
Many residential areas have a speed limit of 30km/h.

Traffic Calmed Areas:
In a traffic calmed area, pedestrians, children playing on the road and cyclists all have the same rights as motor vehicles.

Traffic Jams:
In a traffic jam, if you are last in the queue turn on your hazard lights to warn those approaching you from behind. Leave a clear path for emergency vehicles. On a two lane road this is down the middle. On a three lane road this is between the left and middle lanes. You are expected to drive up onto the footpath or take other such action if you are blocking an emergency vehicle.

You need winter tyres to drive in Winter (at temperatures below 7 degrees Celcius), otherwise your insurance may be void. With Winter tyres fitted you car is speed limited to 160km/h.

Young Passengers:
Children under the age of 12 who are shorter than 150cm may only be transported in cars if you use officially approved child restraints with a test mark. The restraints must be suitable for the size and weight of the child. A seat raiser and regular 3-point seat belt may be sufficient.


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