Road signs in Germany

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Road signs and symbols used in Germany are prescribed under the Straßenverkehrs-Ordnung (StVO) (German Road Traffic Act) and the Katalog der Verkehrszeichen (VzKat) (Catalog of Traffic Signs).[1][2]

Paragraph 9 of the StVO states that "The traffic signs and installations illustrated in annexes 1 to 4 may also be installed with the alternatives described in the Catalog of Traffic Signs." (The Catalog of Traffic Signs (VZKat) is published in the Federal Ministry of Transport Gazette by the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building, and Infrastructure.) The VzKat was issued in May 2017[2] under the Allgemeine Verwaltungsvorschrift zur Straßenverkehrs-Ordnung] (VwV-StVO) (general administrative regulations for the Road Traffic Act).[3]

All signs have assigned numbers. The suffix number after the hyphen refers to the variation of the sign; the suffix on signs with variable numbers is the number depicted on the sign (e.g. speed limit, maximum height, etc.).[2]

Symbols[edit]

Symbols pursuant to paragraphs 7, 10, and 11 of the StVO:[1]

Danger signs[edit]

Danger signs pursuant to part 2 of the VzKat which includes permissible variations of signs listed in annex 1 of the StVO. When one sign has two sign numbers, the first number is the illustrated sign while the latter number is a mirrored or slightly altered version of the sign.

General danger signs[edit]

Special danger signs approaching railroad crossings[edit]

Regulatory signs[edit]

Regulatory signs pursuant to part 3 of the VzKat which includes permissible variations of signs listed in annex 2 of the StVO. When one sign has two sign numbers, the first number is the illustrated sign while the latter number is a mirrored or slightly altered version of the sign.

Waiting and stopping requirements[edit]

Mandatory direction of travel[edit]

Mandatory passing[edit]

Drivable shoulders, bus stops, and taxi stands[edit]

Dedicated paths and lanes[edit]

Priority[edit]

Reißverschlussverfahren[4]
"Zipper Rule" for 1-Way Traffic Merging & 2-Way Traffic Priorities

Environmental factors[edit]

Yield as necessary to not endanger yourself or other road users

Traffic priority - priority roads[edit]

Priority Travel Does Not Yield, Signal All Turns

Other factors[edit]

Yield or Reduce Speed as Necessary [5]

Vehicle classifications & specifics[edit]

Official (base) Symbols in Germany as per Straßenverkehrs-Ordnung (StVO) § 39 Verkehrszeichen[7]

Basic[edit]

Red Ring

In addition to any sign/placard, the Red Ring forbids (in general) the item noted and anything of greater size or value; i.e., if a car is pictured, then not only are cars not permitted verboten but also trucks too.

A Red Ring is also a traffic sign itself: No Vehicles (of any type) Permitted, Pushing Motorcycles/Mopeds/Bicycles Permitted

Bicycles & mopeds[edit]

Motorcycles[edit]

Classified as above/below 500 cc motor size, and with or without sidecar

Cars/automobiles[edit]

Personenkraftwagen - Pkw[8] – "Powered Car for (the transport of) Persons"; e.g., cars/automobiles

Recreational vehicles, farm equipment or animal powered[edit]

Trucks & lorries[edit]

Lastkraftwagen - Lkw[9] – "Powered Car for Loads", e.g., truck, lorry, semi, tractor-trailer

Kraftfahrzeuge (Kfz)[10] mit einer zulässigen Gesamtmasse über 3,5 t, einschließlich ihrer Anhänger, und Zugmaschinen, ausgenommen Personenkraftwagen und Kraftomnibusse – Motor vehicles with a maximum authorized mass of more than 3,5 t, including their trailers, and tractors other than cars and buses

Restrictions & allowances for vehicles (generally larger) than cars[edit]

Dangerous or hazardous cargos[edit]

Buses, public transit & rail[edit]

Buses (generally) and trains (always) have the priority/right of way[12]

Others[edit]

Primary road classifications & related signs[edit]

Basics[edit]

Basic Traffic Controls

Speed Controls & Limits

Passing & Overtaking

Other

Autobahn[edit]

German Limited Access Highway - Blue Background[13]

Signs used on Autobahn

Signs leading to Autobahn

other signs

Signs of federal highways

Note: Though road design of Kraftfahrstrasse is comparable to Autobahn, speed limit is mandatory, signposting is similar but has yellow background.

Bundesstraße - non-limited access highways or main roads - yellow background[edit]

Urban or built-up areas[edit]

Traffic priority - priority roads[edit]

Priority Travel Does Not Yield, Signal All Turns

Paved surfaces - 'edge to edge' controls[edit]

Fahrtbahn/Streifen - driving lane controls[edit]

Roadway lanes delineated by lines for/of single vehicle width

Dedicated lane use required for ...[edit]

Special zones[edit]

Stopping, waiting, parking[edit]

Parking is considered any stop exceeding three minutes.

Absolutely no stopping or waiting on traffic lanes (Emergency Excepted)

No waiting/standing longer than 3 minutes on traffic lanes - "Loading/Unloading & Pick-up/Drop-off Zone"

Bus Stop & Taxi Zones

Road markings/lines[edit]

Intersections & Crosswalks[14]

Driving Lanes

Information signs[edit]

Informational signs[edit]

Base traffic symbols[edit]

Standardized traffic symbols[edit]

Arrows

Road equipment[edit]

Retired signs[edit]

Obsolete signs since 2017 [15]

Obsolete signs since 2013 [15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Straßenverkehrs-Ordnung (StVO) § 39 Verkehrszeichen". Federal Ministry of Transport. Retrieved 18 August 2020.
  2. ^ a b c "VzKat 2017" (in German). 5 July 2020. Retrieved 18 August 2020.
  3. ^ "Allgemeine Verwaltungsvorschrift zur Straßenverkehrs-Ordnung] (VwV-StVO)". Retrieved 18 August 2020.
  4. ^ de:Reißverschlussverfahren[circular reference]
  5. ^ "§ 39 StVO 2013 - Einzelnorm". www.gesetze-im-internet.de.
  6. ^ "German Road Signs: Guide to Parking & Road Signs in Germany". Auto Europe. Retrieved 17 November 2015.
  7. ^ name="LoC"www.bast.de
  8. ^ "Personenkraftwagen". 11 April 2018 – via Wikipedia.
  9. ^ "Lastkraftwagen". 16 April 2018 – via Wikipedia.
  10. ^ "Kraftfahrzeug". 20 April 2018 – via Wikipedia.
  11. ^ "Sattelzug". 25 April 2018 – via Wikipedia.
  12. ^ /Traffic: Priority (right of way)
  13. ^ "Brian's Guide to Getting Around Germany - The Autobahn". www.gettingaroundgermany.info.
  14. ^ de:Straßenmarkierung[circular reference]
  15. ^ a b c d "www.bast.de".
  16. ^ "§ 40 StVO 2013 - Einzelnorm". www.gesetze-im-internet.de.