Status: 01.12.2023, 19:11 PM
By: Simon Mones
The car is parked and suddenly it starts snowing. However, the parking lot requires a parking ticket or parking disc. Is there a risk of a fine if these are no longer recognizable?
The days are getting shorter and the temperatures are dropping. Clear signs that winter is slowly coming – and with it the snow. And he likes to wrap the car under a thick, white blanket. It's annoying when you're standing in a parking lot where you need a resident parking permit, parking ticket or a parking disc. But is there a penalty if the car is covered in snow?
Car parked with a parking ticket: Is there a risk of a fine if the windshield is covered in snow?
The answer is no. Even though the Highway Code (StVO) stipulates that a parking permit must be placed in the car in a way that is clearly visible from the outside. However, the driver already fulfils this obligation when he places it behind the windscreen. However, the car does not have to be checked during the parking period. So when it's snowing, you don't have to go to the vehicle to scrape the windshield free.
If the parking disc has been covered in snow, there is no risk of a fine. © Panthermedia/Imago
The situation is similar with traffic signs, because they are also often obscured by snow. Whether they remain valid depends on the traffic sign. Due to its octagonal shape, a stop sign is still recognizable even when it is covered in snow. And the "give way" sign is also easy to identify.
Snow-covered speed limit signs do not apply – except for those familiar with the area
Meanwhile, it is more difficult with traffic signs with the same shape. If a speed limit sign is covered with snow, it is not clear to drivers what speed is allowed. Courts have therefore ruled that such traffic signs lose their validity if they are covered in snow. However, motorists must subsequently prove that the sign was not recognizable.
As always, however, there are exceptions: drivers who are familiar with the area must also adhere to the speed limit if the sign is not legible. The courts assume that they should know the speed limits. So if you are flashed near your place of residence, you can't talk your way out of it.
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And even snow-covered no-parking signs remain valid. In this case, the legislator assumes that motorists are fulfilling their duty of care. In other words, first of all, remove the snow from the sign by hand and make sure that parking is allowed.