Traffic rules: hazard lights on and I may anything?
Some drivers, especially buses, use the hazard warning lights to stop the rules. This is actually only allowed in dangerous situations.
I often observe that buses hold hazard warning lights without a designated traffic sign. Do the normally applicable traffic rules have to be complied with ?, asks ZEIT-ONLINE reader Norbert Loos .
Cities that are popular with tourists are often overcrowded by coaches in summer. So that customers do not have to travel too long to reach the sights or the nearest restaurant, some drivers stop with the hazard warning lights on to let passengers in or out. Even with regular buses, this happens, for example, when other vehicles block the stop.
Some drivers do not seem to know what the technology is for. "The hazard warning lights must be switched on immediately if a motor vehicle remains lying", explains Andreas Krämer, specialist lawyer for traffic law from Frankfurt am Main, with reference to clause 15 of the Road Traffic Act (StVO). "The failure of many road users to park in the second row and to switch on the hazard warning lights is not covered by this regulation, because these vehicles do not just lie down, they just stand there."
The specialist lawyer also refers to clause 16 of the STVO. After that, the drivers of line and school buses at particularly dangerous stops must already turn on the hazard lights when approaching the danger spot. In this way passengers should be protected. "This is not the case with other passenger transport buses, so drivers of coaches are not allowed under the StVO to turn on the hazard warning lights when their passengers disembark," Krämer clarifies.
In some situations, it may be quite useful for the protection of the exiting passengers to turn on the hazard warning lights, the lawyer points out. "That should be decided on a case-by-case basis, but in my 25 years of practical experience, I have never encountered a case in which the driver of a coach must therefore pay a fine," says Krämer.