Blue lights on private vehicles - illegal use can be very expensive
Created: 2022-08-02 10:44 am
By: Sebastian Oppenheimer
With a flashing blue light on the roof, things go much faster - but misusing this as a private person can get you into a lot of trouble.
Anyone who is stuck in a long traffic jam may have wished for a flashing blue light on the roof - because that would finally move forward again and you could, for example, "officially" drive through an emergency lane, as a particularly bold driver recently did on the autobahn.
But just as the use of the rescue lane or the hard shoulder on the motorway to get ahead is prohibited, the use of a blue light for private individuals is also prohibited.
In the worst case, such an illegal blue light ride is not only very expensive, but even ends up in front of the criminal judge.
Private individuals are prohibited from using a blue light - there are high penalties (symbol image).
© Luca Field/Imago
Blue light on the private vehicle - Illegal use can be very expensive
Section 38 of the Road Traffic Act (StVO) regulates when a blue light may be used.
According to the legal text, it may only be used together with the siren if:
The greatest urgency is required to save lives or prevent serious damage to health
A danger to public security or order must be averted
Fugitives must be prosecuted
Significant assets are to be preserved
According to the law, a blue light may only be used by vehicles equipped with it and only to warn people at accident sites or other places of action, during emergency trips or when accompanied by vehicles or closed units.
Blue light: Only certain institutions are allowed to use it
Section 52 of the Road Traffic Licensing Regulations (StVZO) specifies exactly which institutions are allowed to use blue lights.
Among other things, this includes:
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Flashing blue lights on the private vehicle – if one commits an assumption of authority, there is a risk of serious trouble
According to ADAC, it is legal in Germany to sell a blue light to private individuals - and ownership is not a problem either.
However, anyone who uses it on their vehicle may have to face serious consequences.
If you get caught, you have to pay a warning fee of 20 euros – which would certainly be bearable.
However, if one commits an assumption of office – that is, one performs an act that is only permitted to holders of a public office – one will be prosecuted according to Section 132 of the Criminal Code (StGB).
And in the worst case, that can mean a hefty fine or even imprisonment for up to two years.
Catalog of fines: what fines traffic offenders have to reckon with
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Blue lights on the private vehicle - there may be a risk of a medical-psychological examination
However, in the case of illegal use of the blue light, there are other facts that could come into consideration - for example coercion in road traffic, but also speeding or endangering or harming other road users - possibly due to a risky overtaking manoeuvre.
And: If you use a blue light illegally, you may have to reckon with doubts about your fitness to drive – then the driving license office could also order a medical-psychological examination (MPU).