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You are here: Home Moving to Getting Started Driving in Berlin: Rules, habits and fines (page 2)
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01/12/2009Driving in Berlin: Rules, habits and fines

Driving in Berlin: Rules, habits and fines In part one of our two part series, we cover the driving culture in Berlin, where to park and buy gas and, most importantly, the laws.

While many Berliners rely on the biking and public transportation to get around the city, there is also a strong car culture in the German capital. Many Berliners own a car despite the steep cost of gas but leave them parked for weeks at a time until they need to go shopping in a distant neighbourhood or have to speed across town to a government office.

Driving through Berlin can be a headache. To get from Prenzlauer Berg to nearby Kreuzberg you’ll need 20 minutes, but trying to go further south to Wilmersdorf will take more than half an hour thanks to a never-ending series of traffic lights. Traversing town from west to east is simplified by Strasse des 17 Juni and Unter den Linden, the streets conceived by Prussian kings and expanded by Hitler. Going from Spandau to Friedrichshain will take just under a half an hour.

Driving habits

Berlin drivers manage to be an aggressive bunch while still obeying traffic laws, except when it comes to speeding. People will tailgate and potentially flash their lights if they think you’re going too slowly but ultimately no one will cut you off, make illegal lane changes or otherwise threaten your safety. If you make a mistake, expect to be chastised by fellow drivers since Germans are always aware of who technically is right and love to point it out when they notice a transgressor.

Photo Flickr © urbanartcore.eu
Street Art Sticker and bicycle in Berlin-Mitte

Bikes can prove another challenge. Parked cars often separate bike paths from streets, so it’s not always easy to see if a bike is paralleling your car. Check your outside mirror repeatedly when turning right to avoid cutting anyone off.

You’ll be happy to know that Berlin has relatively few car accidents: just over 10,000 a month, with about 10% of those resulting in personal injury. In 2006, 74 people were killed in traffic accidents in the city.

What non-drivers need to know  
     

The most important thing for non-drivers to know is the difference between the pavement and the bike path. Bike paths are usually identifiable because they are laid out in a distinctive red brick. If you find yourself strolling onto one, it won’t take long until a zooming cyclist berates you. The reverse is true for cyclists: riding on the pavement is illegal, so opt for the street if there’s no bike path.

Intersections are clearly marked and usually include a crosswalk. Although it’s more common in other parts of Germany, expats are often baffled by pedestrians’ unwillingness to jaywalk. If you do jaywalk, you’re likely to hear someone grumble, if not openly criticise you for so blatantly flaunting the rules.

Traffic rules and regulations

When cruising through neighbourhoods with no stop signs, cars to the right always have the right of way. The speed limit within the city is 50kph unless otherwise noted. The fastest you can go on the highways within the city is 100kph, and the unlimited speed limits don’t kick in on the Autobahn until you’re well outside the city.

If you get caught speeding by a traffic camera, you’ll get a ticket in the mail. And be forewarned: rental car companies will forward these tickets to your home address, so you won’t escape them. The police also set up speed traps and may require you to pay on the spot.

A diamond-shaped sign with a yellow centre means you have the right of way at an intersection. All traffic lights also have such signs to show who has the advantage should the lights go out, which seems to happen quite frequently for a society that prides itself on order.

You may only pass on the left and Germans do, in fact, only pass on the left.

Photo Flickr © pthread1981
Nice Park Job: This kind of parking is actually really common in Berlin
Parking    

Parking in Berlin has yet to reach the nightmare stage but it’s still an inconvenience. Neighbourhoods that require metered parking will also have exceptions for residents (you can get a permit at the Einwohnermeldeamt).

Most Berliners rely on street parking, so expect a long search if you need a spot on Sunday night when everyone returns from the weekend. If you’re parking in a metered area, you’ll have to rely on coins because there are no monthly parking passes and machines still don’t accept the debit cards.

Gas Stations    

Gas stations are universally self-service: you pump your gas yourself and then go inside to pay. Most have a car wash that will be busy at weekends. Most importantly, gas stations are one of the few businesses open around the clock, as well as Sundays, making them default convenience stores for everything from bread and beer to cleaning supplies.

German oil companies are phasing out regular unleaded gas, forcing consumers to buy super unleaded or the even higher octane premium. Gas is more expensive in Germany than in the UK or US, largely due to taxes. Diesel is also popular in cost-conscious Berlin.

Traffic fines and offences

Whenever anyone talks about traffic fines, they’ll mention ‘points in Flensburg,’ which refers to the national headquarters of the police in the northern German city of Flensburg. This is where your driving record is kept. Drivers all start off with no ‘points in Flensburg’ but can lose their licence if they accumulate 18 points within a certain period (this varies depending on the offences).




Offences that will get you up to four points are considered simple ones, while those that earn between five and seven points are considered criminal. Driving while intoxicated will win you seven points as well as the immediate loss of your driving licence. If it’s your first offence, it will likely only be taken for three to six months. You’ll also have to pay a fine calculated according to your income, for example 120 days’ worth of pay.

Going up to 25kph over the speed limit will get you one point and up to a €50 fine. Anything above 30kph over the posted limit will win you three or four points and a fine of at least €100. You’ll also lose your licence for at least a month.

Driving without a licence will ensure that you don’t have a licence for at least another six months, as well as gain you a stiff fine – 180 days’ pay is what the law calls for. Since you don’t technically have a licence, you can’t accrue any points. If you just forget your licence, you’re looking at a €10 warning.

And buckle up: seatbelts are mandatory in Germany, as are childseats. Driver’s are fined €30 per offender.

Stay tuned for part two in our series: Driving in Berlin: Buying, renting, insurance and registering your car

December 2009


Reprinted with permission of Explorer Publishing from the Berlin Complete Residents' Guides.

Photo credit: Jacob Bøtter; urbanartcore.eu; pthread1981



8 reactions to this article

Kevin Pfeiffer posted: 2009-12-01 12:40:29

You write: 'Check your outside mirror repeatedly when turning right to avoid cutting anyone off. '

That should be 'to avoid killing or severly injuring a cyclist' -- which happens relatively often here, due to the frequent use of bike paths in the city. Fortunately, these are being eliminated, but only very slowly, and they are still popular with many cyclists because of their perceived safety.

Brian p posted: 2010-06-09 13:55:48

Not all local side roads have right of way, some side roads where the cycle path goes across the side road entrance the driver coming from that side road doe not have right of way. But be very careful on all german roads as many drivers think they have right of way when coming from a side road [edited by moderator[. A second point worth noting is, the German traffic light system is very misleading for many Brits, as in the UK and many other countries all the pedestrian lights are red and do not change to green until the motor traffic lights are all at red, this is not so in Germany, the pedestrian lights turn green in sympathy with the motor traffic green light direction. Always look out for pedestrians crossing when you have the green light and are turning a corner.

PROPHET OKPOBO posted: 2014-07-09 03:51:27


CONTACT PROPHET OKPOBO FOR YOUR FAMILY DAILY PRAYERS FOR PROTECTION
(prophetokpobo1@gmail.com)
PERSONAL PRAYERS AND CONFESSION
1. Every padlock from the river, break, in the name of Jesus.
2. My reject every serpent and scorpion, in the name of Jesus.
3. O lord let the rain of your healing power envelop my system, in the name of Jesus.
4. Calabash of the strongman break in the name of Jesus.
5. My prayers stone what are you waiting for, strike the head of the goliath, in the name of Jesus.
6. Powers of God arise by thunder; move my life forward, in the name of Jesus.
7. Every cage of darkness breaks in the name of Jesus.
8. Every root of successful curses be uprooted, in the name of Jesus.
9. I command every generational spirit to leave my life, in the name of Jesus.
10. I command every stronghold of darkness in my body to dry up, in the name of Jesus.
11. ETC.
CONTACT (PROPHET OKPOBO (prophetokpobo1@gmail.com) FOR YOUR CONTINUE PROTECTION FROM THE HANDS OF YOUR ENEMY.
Most of the families are facing one marital problem or the other, my dear good people of God you need a prophet to stand for the (prayers) gap between you and your enemies.
Disagreement between husband and wife, children and parent, broken homes, divorce .ETC
Kindly contact PROPHET OKPOBO (prophetokpobo1@gmail.com) for your daily guides and protection.

PROPHET OKPOBO posted: 2014-07-09 03:52:35


CONTACT PROPHET OKPOBO FOR YOUR FAMILY DAILY PRAYERS FOR PROTECTION
(prophetokpobo1@gmail.com)
PERSONAL PRAYERS AND CONFESSION
1. Every padlock from the river, break, in the name of Jesus.
2. My reject every serpent and scorpion, in the name of Jesus.
3. O lord let the rain of your healing power envelop my system, in the name of Jesus.
4. Calabash of the strongman break in the name of Jesus.
5. My prayers stone what are you waiting for, strike the head of the goliath, in the name of Jesus.
6. Powers of God arise by thunder; move my life forward, in the name of Jesus.
7. Every cage of darkness breaks in the name of Jesus.
8. Every root of successful curses be uprooted, in the name of Jesus.
9. I command every generational spirit to leave my life, in the name of Jesus.
10. I command every stronghold of darkness in my body to dry up, in the name of Jesus.
11. ETC.
CONTACT (PROPHET OKPOBO (prophetokpobo1@gmail.com) FOR YOUR CONTINUE PROTECTION FROM THE HANDS OF YOUR ENEMY.
Most of the families are facing one marital problem or the other, my dear good people of God you need a prophet to stand for the (prayers) gap between you and your enemies.
Disagreement between husband and wife, children and parent, broken homes, divorce .ETC
Kindly contact PROPHET OKPOBO (prophetokpobo1@gmail.com) for your daily guides and protection.

JENNIFER posted: 2014-07-09 03:56:20

JENNIFER,
My name is Jennifer and i want to testify of the good work done by a faithful DR EKA, a spell caster. in my life i never thought there is such thing as spiritual intercession. my problem started 5 months back when the father of my kids started putting up some strange behavior, i never knew he was having an affair outside our matrimonial home. it dawn on me on that faithful day 4th of April 21st 4:23pm when he came to the house to pick his things that was when i knew that situation has gotten out of hand and he then told me he was quitting the marriage which i have built for over 6 years, i was confused and dumbfounded i called on family and friends but to no avail. two months after i started having problem with my kids welfare rent-age and all of it, i really went through ***. until a day i was browsing on the internet and i happen to meet DR EKA Email (dreka14demons@gmail.com) i never believed on this but i needed my man back so i gave the spell caster my problem at first i never trusted him so i was just doing it but you know a problem shared is half solved after a 2das my husband called me telling me that he his coming back home and that was all. now we are living happily and i still do contact him on this email: dreka14demons@gmail.com

JENNIFER posted: 2014-07-09 03:57:12

JENNIFER,
My name is Jennifer and i want to testify of the good work done by a faithful DR EKA, a spell caster. in my life i never thought there is such thing as spiritual intercession. my problem started 5 months back when the father of my kids started putting up some strange behavior, i never knew he was having an affair outside our matrimonial home. it dawn on me on that faithful day 4th of April 21st 4:23pm when he came to the house to pick his things that was when i knew that situation has gotten out of hand and he then told me he was quitting the marriage which i have built for over 6 years, i was confused and dumbfounded i called on family and friends but to no avail. two months after i started having problem with my kids welfare rent-age and all of it, i really went through ***. until a day i was browsing on the internet and i happen to meet DR EKA Email (dreka14demons@gmail.com) i never believed on this but i needed my man back so i gave the spell caster my problem at first i never trusted him so i was just doing it but you know a problem shared is half solved after a 2das my husband called me telling me that he his coming back home and that was all. now we are living happily and i still do contact him on this email: dreka14demons@gmail.com

LOLI BENITEZ posted: 2014-07-09 03:59:22

LOLI BENITEZ,
My entire world crashed when my lover left me 3 months ago to be with another woman. I cried and sobbed every day and could hardly concentrate on anything, it got so bad that I had to do something to get him back. Fortunately for me while I was on a site I saw so many people talking about a spell caster named PROPHET OKPOBO and how he brought back their love ones to them in 48 hours. I was so happy and at same time I was scared so I contacted PROPHET OKPOBO and told him my problem and he said he was going to bring him back, that gave me so much hope you know, he collected few details from me and promised there will be very confidential. I am so glad to say my lover came to me 48 hours after PROPHET OKPOBO love spell to apologize for the way things ended between us and was pleading for us to be back together, isn’t that wonderful? I bet it is, much thanks to this unique spell caster PROPHET OKPOBO. For what you have done for me, I will not stop to share your goodness to people out there for the good work you are doing. Waste no time in contacting PROPHET OKPOBO on (prophetokpobo1@gmail.com) and you will join me and other persons he helps to tell the world about his marvelous works. His mail again is (prophetokpobo1@gmail.com....

LOLI BENITEZ posted: 2014-07-09 04:01:11

LOLI BENITEZ,
My entire world crashed when my lover left me 3 months ago to be with another woman. I cried and sobbed every day and could hardly concentrate on anything, it got so bad that I had to do something to get him back. Fortunately for me while I was on a site I saw so many people talking about a spell caster named PROPHET OKPOBO and how he brought back their love ones to them in 48 hours. I was so happy and at same time I was scared so I contacted PROPHET OKPOBO and told him my problem and he said he was going to bring him back, that gave me so much hope you know, he collected few details from me and promised there will be very confidential. I am so glad to say my lover came to me 48 hours after PROPHET OKPOBO love spell to apologize for the way things ended between us and was pleading for us to be back together, isn’t that wonderful? I bet it is, much thanks to this unique spell caster PROPHET OKPOBO. For what you have done for me, I will not stop to share your goodness to people out there for the good work you are doing. Waste no time in contacting PROPHET OKPOBO on (prophetokpobo1@gmail.com) and you will join me and other persons he helps to tell the world about his marvelous works. His mail again is (prophetokpobo1@gmail.com....

8 reactions to this article

Kevin Pfeiffer posted: 2009-12-01 12:40:29

You write: 'Check your outside mirror repeatedly when turning right to avoid cutting anyone off. '

That should be 'to avoid killing or severly injuring a cyclist' -- which happens relatively often here, due to the frequent use of bike paths in the city. Fortunately, these are being eliminated, but only very slowly, and they are still popular with many cyclists because of their perceived safety.

Brian p posted: 2010-06-09 13:55:48

Not all local side roads have right of way, some side roads where the cycle path goes across the side road entrance the driver coming from that side road doe not have right of way. But be very careful on all german roads as many drivers think they have right of way when coming from a side road [edited by moderator[. A second point worth noting is, the German traffic light system is very misleading for many Brits, as in the UK and many other countries all the pedestrian lights are red and do not change to green until the motor traffic lights are all at red, this is not so in Germany, the pedestrian lights turn green in sympathy with the motor traffic green light direction. Always look out for pedestrians crossing when you have the green light and are turning a corner.

PROPHET OKPOBO posted: 2014-07-09 03:51:27


CONTACT PROPHET OKPOBO FOR YOUR FAMILY DAILY PRAYERS FOR PROTECTION
(prophetokpobo1@gmail.com)
PERSONAL PRAYERS AND CONFESSION
1. Every padlock from the river, break, in the name of Jesus.
2. My reject every serpent and scorpion, in the name of Jesus.
3. O lord let the rain of your healing power envelop my system, in the name of Jesus.
4. Calabash of the strongman break in the name of Jesus.
5. My prayers stone what are you waiting for, strike the head of the goliath, in the name of Jesus.
6. Powers of God arise by thunder; move my life forward, in the name of Jesus.
7. Every cage of darkness breaks in the name of Jesus.
8. Every root of successful curses be uprooted, in the name of Jesus.
9. I command every generational spirit to leave my life, in the name of Jesus.
10. I command every stronghold of darkness in my body to dry up, in the name of Jesus.
11. ETC.
CONTACT (PROPHET OKPOBO (prophetokpobo1@gmail.com) FOR YOUR CONTINUE PROTECTION FROM THE HANDS OF YOUR ENEMY.
Most of the families are facing one marital problem or the other, my dear good people of God you need a prophet to stand for the (prayers) gap between you and your enemies.
Disagreement between husband and wife, children and parent, broken homes, divorce .ETC
Kindly contact PROPHET OKPOBO (prophetokpobo1@gmail.com) for your daily guides and protection.

PROPHET OKPOBO posted: 2014-07-09 03:52:35


CONTACT PROPHET OKPOBO FOR YOUR FAMILY DAILY PRAYERS FOR PROTECTION
(prophetokpobo1@gmail.com)
PERSONAL PRAYERS AND CONFESSION
1. Every padlock from the river, break, in the name of Jesus.
2. My reject every serpent and scorpion, in the name of Jesus.
3. O lord let the rain of your healing power envelop my system, in the name of Jesus.
4. Calabash of the strongman break in the name of Jesus.
5. My prayers stone what are you waiting for, strike the head of the goliath, in the name of Jesus.
6. Powers of God arise by thunder; move my life forward, in the name of Jesus.
7. Every cage of darkness breaks in the name of Jesus.
8. Every root of successful curses be uprooted, in the name of Jesus.
9. I command every generational spirit to leave my life, in the name of Jesus.
10. I command every stronghold of darkness in my body to dry up, in the name of Jesus.
11. ETC.
CONTACT (PROPHET OKPOBO (prophetokpobo1@gmail.com) FOR YOUR CONTINUE PROTECTION FROM THE HANDS OF YOUR ENEMY.
Most of the families are facing one marital problem or the other, my dear good people of God you need a prophet to stand for the (prayers) gap between you and your enemies.
Disagreement between husband and wife, children and parent, broken homes, divorce .ETC
Kindly contact PROPHET OKPOBO (prophetokpobo1@gmail.com) for your daily guides and protection.

JENNIFER posted: 2014-07-09 03:56:20

JENNIFER,
My name is Jennifer and i want to testify of the good work done by a faithful DR EKA, a spell caster. in my life i never thought there is such thing as spiritual intercession. my problem started 5 months back when the father of my kids started putting up some strange behavior, i never knew he was having an affair outside our matrimonial home. it dawn on me on that faithful day 4th of April 21st 4:23pm when he came to the house to pick his things that was when i knew that situation has gotten out of hand and he then told me he was quitting the marriage which i have built for over 6 years, i was confused and dumbfounded i called on family and friends but to no avail. two months after i started having problem with my kids welfare rent-age and all of it, i really went through ***. until a day i was browsing on the internet and i happen to meet DR EKA Email (dreka14demons@gmail.com) i never believed on this but i needed my man back so i gave the spell caster my problem at first i never trusted him so i was just doing it but you know a problem shared is half solved after a 2das my husband called me telling me that he his coming back home and that was all. now we are living happily and i still do contact him on this email: dreka14demons@gmail.com

JENNIFER posted: 2014-07-09 03:57:12

JENNIFER,
My name is Jennifer and i want to testify of the good work done by a faithful DR EKA, a spell caster. in my life i never thought there is such thing as spiritual intercession. my problem started 5 months back when the father of my kids started putting up some strange behavior, i never knew he was having an affair outside our matrimonial home. it dawn on me on that faithful day 4th of April 21st 4:23pm when he came to the house to pick his things that was when i knew that situation has gotten out of hand and he then told me he was quitting the marriage which i have built for over 6 years, i was confused and dumbfounded i called on family and friends but to no avail. two months after i started having problem with my kids welfare rent-age and all of it, i really went through ***. until a day i was browsing on the internet and i happen to meet DR EKA Email (dreka14demons@gmail.com) i never believed on this but i needed my man back so i gave the spell caster my problem at first i never trusted him so i was just doing it but you know a problem shared is half solved after a 2das my husband called me telling me that he his coming back home and that was all. now we are living happily and i still do contact him on this email: dreka14demons@gmail.com

LOLI BENITEZ posted: 2014-07-09 03:59:22

LOLI BENITEZ,
My entire world crashed when my lover left me 3 months ago to be with another woman. I cried and sobbed every day and could hardly concentrate on anything, it got so bad that I had to do something to get him back. Fortunately for me while I was on a site I saw so many people talking about a spell caster named PROPHET OKPOBO and how he brought back their love ones to them in 48 hours. I was so happy and at same time I was scared so I contacted PROPHET OKPOBO and told him my problem and he said he was going to bring him back, that gave me so much hope you know, he collected few details from me and promised there will be very confidential. I am so glad to say my lover came to me 48 hours after PROPHET OKPOBO love spell to apologize for the way things ended between us and was pleading for us to be back together, isn’t that wonderful? I bet it is, much thanks to this unique spell caster PROPHET OKPOBO. For what you have done for me, I will not stop to share your goodness to people out there for the good work you are doing. Waste no time in contacting PROPHET OKPOBO on (prophetokpobo1@gmail.com) and you will join me and other persons he helps to tell the world about his marvelous works. His mail again is (prophetokpobo1@gmail.com....

LOLI BENITEZ posted: 2014-07-09 04:01:11

LOLI BENITEZ,
My entire world crashed when my lover left me 3 months ago to be with another woman. I cried and sobbed every day and could hardly concentrate on anything, it got so bad that I had to do something to get him back. Fortunately for me while I was on a site I saw so many people talking about a spell caster named PROPHET OKPOBO and how he brought back their love ones to them in 48 hours. I was so happy and at same time I was scared so I contacted PROPHET OKPOBO and told him my problem and he said he was going to bring him back, that gave me so much hope you know, he collected few details from me and promised there will be very confidential. I am so glad to say my lover came to me 48 hours after PROPHET OKPOBO love spell to apologize for the way things ended between us and was pleading for us to be back together, isn’t that wonderful? I bet it is, much thanks to this unique spell caster PROPHET OKPOBO. For what you have done for me, I will not stop to share your goodness to people out there for the good work you are doing. Waste no time in contacting PROPHET OKPOBO on (prophetokpobo1@gmail.com) and you will join me and other persons he helps to tell the world about his marvelous works. His mail again is (prophetokpobo1@gmail.com....

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