Germany has a highway code (set of rules for the road). Just as in the majority of countries in the world, red means stop and green means go. Here is a list of certain road rules in Germany.
- All passengers must put on seat belts.
- Children under the age of 12 must sit in a child seat (“Kindersitz”) unless they are taller than 1.5 m.
- The speed limit within town and city boundaries is 50 km/h. Many residential areas and areas near schools and Kindergärten have a speed limit of 30 km/h (“verkehrsberuhigte Zonen”).
- Cars are only allowed to drive at walking pace in especially signposted play streets (“Spielstraßen”). Outside city limits, on “country roads”, the limit is usually 80 km/h.
- If there are no signs restricting speed on motorways then drivers are advised to drive at the “recommended speed” of 130 km/h.
People who do not abide by the highway code will often be fined and could even lose their licence. Serious breaches of traffic rules are punished on a points system. These points are registered centrally in a database (called the “Flensburger Verkehrssünder-Datei”) in the northern Germany city of Flensburg. As soon as a specific number of points has been accumulated, the offender has their licence withdrawn and is forbidden from driving for a period of time.