Driving in winter: No fines for snowy signs - but proof is difficult
Created: 12/21/2022, 10:48 am
By: Simon Mones
Snow-covered traffic signs may not be valid in winter, so there is no fine.
However, detection is often difficult and expensive.
In winter, snow and ice present drivers with special challenges.
If you don't clear the car properly, you'll quickly get a fine.
But it also works the other way around, because under certain conditions, snow can also mean that there is no penalty.
And there is a reason for that, because the principle of visibility applies to traffic signs in Germany.
This means that traffic signs must be recognizable with a “quick and casual glance” without drivers having to think twice.
This is what the Federal Administrative Court decided in March 2008.
If the traffic sign is not easy to read because of snow, it may no longer be valid.
© Rene Traut/Imago
Driving in winter: no fines for snowy signs?
This would not be the case, for example, with a heavily snow-covered, icy or dirty sign.
Then these may no longer be valid for drivers, as reported by Auto, Motor und Sport.
This is particularly relevant for prohibition or restriction signs.
Catalog of fines: what fines traffic offenders have to reckon with
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If drivers collect a ticket for parking illegally in winter or are flashed, they could, with luck, avoid the fine.
However, you must be able to credibly prove that the traffic sign was not recognizable or legible.
This can become difficult and expensive after a long time.
For example, because a weather report from the German Weather Service is necessary.
On site, however, drivers have it easier because they can show the officials the relevant sign directly.
Driving in winter: No fines for parking offenders with snow-covered windows
In addition, some traffic signs can also be recognized by their shape.
So it's not that easy and the excuse doesn't work even for those who know the area.
Because here, authorities and courts usually assume that they know the local traffic rules on regularly traveled routes.
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But what if you parked the car and it snowed while you were away?
After all, according to the road traffic regulations, resident parking permits, parking tickets or a parking disc must be clearly legible.
So do drivers have to constantly clear the windshield of snow or ice?
No, in this case parking offenders are not threatened with a ticket.
If you do, simply contact the issuing authority and present the resident parking permit or the parking ticket with a picture of the snow-covered car.