Germany to reform traffic rules

Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer is planning improvements for cyclists and e-scooter users and higher fines for violations.

Germany to reform traffic rules
dpa

Berlin (dpa) - The German government is planning moves to ease the lot of cyclists and e-scooter users at the expense largely of traditional motorists, according to legislation proposed by Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer in Berlin on Thursday.

Fines for double-parking or parking on pavements or cycle paths are to go up six fold to up to 100 euros (112 dollars).

E-scooters, which have only been allowed in Germany for two months and been a source of concern for their proliferation on pavements, would be allowed to use bus lanes as well as cycle paths under the new rules.

Bus lanes will also be freed up for cars carrying at least three people.

The mobility of the future would require adaptation, Scheuer told the mass-circulation Bild newspaper on Thursday. "There is a lot to do to make our roads even safer, more climate-friendly and fairer," he said.

Cycling needed to be safer and driving clubs or car-sharing services should be promoted, he said.

Scheuer was particularly critical of motorists who obstruct emergency vehicles and proposed stiff fines. "Anyone who blocks the emergency lane will be severely punished, as this is about life and death," he said.

He plans for the changes, which have to be agreed by the cabinet and subsequently by both houses of parliament, to go into effect before the end of the year.