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Traffic rules disregarded: Fines can be so expensive in Europe

Europe Traveling by car

This is how expensive fines can get in Europe

On vacation you see a lot of things more relaxed than in everyday life. This also applies to traffic regulations abroad. Not following them can be costly. And anyone who thinks that parking tickets from other countries do not have to be paid for is hugely mistaken.

Parking violations abroad can reduce the holiday budget Parking violations abroad can reduce the holiday budget

Parking violations abroad can reduce the holiday budget

Source: pa/dpa/dpa-tmn/Christin Klose

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WIf you are traveling by car in other European countries, it is a good idea to find out about the traffic regulations that apply there before you leave. Who has the right of way when entering a roundabout? In France, for example, drivers entering the vehicle have priority. Where can I park? Can I drive into the city center by car? Especially in Italy, many old towns are classified as ZTL – Zona traffico limitato marked and passable only with special permission.

A violation is quickly committed out of ignorance, which, annoyingly, can also be expensive. And if you think that tickets from abroad don’t arrive or don’t have to be paid for, you’re very wrong. On the contrary: ignoring can even be really expensive.

Penalties from other EU countries are enforced in Germany from 70 euros, from neighboring Austria even from 25 euros. The assumption that Germany is particularly strict and things are more relaxed in Bella Italia, for example, turns out to be an expensive fallacy. Speed ​​violations of 20 kilometers per hour in Germany cost a fine from 35 euros, in Italy almost five times as much, namely 170 euros.

Driving too fast in Norway is even more expensive. There, a hole of at least 490 euros is torn in the holiday budget. If you have let yourself be carried away by the carefree holiday mood or the longing for the beach to exceed the speed limit of up to 50 kilometers per hour, you will have to pay up to 1500 euros in France, up to 2180 euros in Austria and up to 2850 euros in Great Britain.

However, most of the neighboring countries in Europe have a more moderate range of fines. If the violation is negligent, it tends to be at the lower end, or if there is danger or damage to property, the maximum amount can be imposed.

High penalties from Sweden to Italy

If you are happy to find a parking space directly in front of a shop, you should take a closer look. Parking violations abroad can really reduce the holiday budget. In Belgium, you have to pay from 55 euros, in Denmark it is already 70 euros and in the Netherlands it only starts at 95 euros. By the way, quickly parking the rental car in the wrong place in Mallorca can cost up to 200 euros.

It becomes even more expensive if you breach the seat belt requirement. It’s too hot, the silk dress crumples so easily? I’m not going to buckle up for the few meters to the beach parking lot or restaurant? Not a good idea! In Spain, 200 euros are gone very quickly, in Great Britain even 565 euros.

Are your friends at the restaurant yet? Calling and asking you quickly can get expensive without a speakerphone. In Croatia and France up to 135 euros are due, in the Netherlands 380 euros and in Italy the carabinieri show no mercy and charge up to 165 euros for the phone to the ear.

The drive home after a visit to a restaurant can be really expensive if you have drunk alcohol. France obviously knows how appealing its wines are and, with a lower limit of 135 euros, is still in the lower range. Italy is also much stricter here: from 545 euros you have to shell out if the Aperol Spritz tasted too good.

In Sweden, 40 daily rates are calculated, depending on the monthly earnings. Denmark does not bother with daily rates and imposes up to one month’s earnings as a penalty for drunk driving. It’s better to have the restaurant call a taxi for you and enjoy carefree hours.

Motorists will also be prosecuted in Germany

The bureaucratic mills grind slowly and maybe they won’t even catch me? A deceptive thought. Notices of fines are quickly forwarded and followed up by the Federal Office of Justice if German drivers do not pay their fines.

The penalty can also be due immediately in the case of a traffic check with license plate check in the respective country. This also applies if you re-enter the country at a different time or if you are checked for passports at the airport. The statute of limitations varies from country to country.

There is one small consolation: only fines are transferred to Germany. Driving bans only apply in the country where the violation was committed, and points cannot be transferred to Flensburg either.

In any case, it is better to find out about the rules before you go abroad, for example at the ADAC, than to bring home expensive and unloved souvenirs of this kind.

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