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Germany reforms Road Traffic Act with more autonomy for states and municipalities

175 days ago

4 minutes

Source: BMDV

The federal government of Germany has approved the draft of a tenth law to amend the Road Traffic Act (StVG) presented by the Federal Minister for Digital Affairs and Transport, and at the same time took note of the draft of an ordinance to amend the Road Traffic Regulations (StVO).

As stated in the coalition agreement, the StVG and StVO should be adapted so that, in addition to the fluidity and safety of traffic, the goals of climate and environmental protection, health and urban development are taken into account.

Federal Minister Dr. Volker Wissing:

We are modernizing and expanding the Road Traffic Act to include the goals of environmental protection, health and urban planning. However, the safety and ease of traffic must always be taken into account in the future. In this way, we enable new scope for decision-making on site without neglecting the interests of road traffic. In the future, states and municipalities will be able to respond more quickly and flexibly to special local requirements. We are primarily making it easier for safety measures at playgrounds, busy school routes and pedestrian crossings. The authorities also have the opportunity to arrange special lanes for climate-friendly forms of mobility. In doing so, we are taking a big step towards modern, climate-friendly, progressive and safe mobility.

In detail:

The amendment to the Road Traffic Act creates the legal framework in order to then grant the authorities new powers in the Road Traffic Act . The StVG thus provides the authorization for new regulations in the StVO . It clearly states that when the authorities issue new powers through the StVO , the safety and ease of traffic must always be taken into account. This is an abstract regulation that presents the StVO with the task of issuing concrete provisions on this basis. The StVG itself does not create any options for the authorities to intervene or issue orders. The StVG also clearly states that the local authorities, if they later make use of the new powers that have yet to be regulated, must also continue to take into account the impact of the actual order on the safety and ease of local traffic for the specific location.

What does the new road traffic law bring?

On this basis, the StVO will then provide for specific powers for local authorities, e.g. B. for the arrangement of special lanes for certain climate-friendly forms of mobility on a test basis, for example for electric or hydrogen-powered vehicles or vehicles occupied by several people. It will also give local authorities more flexibility in the arrangement of resident parking. Previously, the authorities assumed that significant parking pressure would have to be proven in advance. In the future, it will be expressly made clear that prognostic data in urban planning is sufficient for these purposes. This means: You don’t have to wait for the actual parking situation to develop.

It is also planned to make it easier to place 30 km/h regulations in very specific places, namely playgrounds, busy school routes, pedestrian crossings and sections of up to 500 meters between two 30 km/h routes, so that traffic can flow better.

The StVG still has to be passed by the Bundestag and Bundesrat. In a second step, the new authorization basis for issuing the specific measures mentioned will be filled out by an ordinance that regulates the powers of the local authorities in detail. The BMDV has drawn up a corresponding draft of the Road Traffic Act , which is now being coordinated with the states. The aim is to have it passed in the Federal Council this year.

For classification:

The Road Traffic Act sets a legal framework within which the federal ministries, with the consent of the Bundesrat, can draw up traffic rules and requirements for the state authorities regulating traffic in the form of regulations. It does not contain any specific traffic rules or any direct requirements for the authorities who implement traffic law locally.

The aim of the draft law is to expand the scope of the legislator’s authority to issue specific road traffic regulations ( e.g. regulations of the road traffic regulations). A new, additional authorization basis is being created that entitles the holder to issue regulations. According to this, in the future, regulations and orders based on them can be issued by local authorities – exclusively – for the purpose of improving environmental and climate protection, protecting health or supporting urban development. Safety and ease of traffic must always be taken into account.

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