Mobile phone at the wheel: fines and penalties 2020

Forbidden, it’s life threatening – and it’s common: making cell phone calls to ear while driving. Since 2017, the legislator has taken stricter measures against violations. However, the change in the law does not only include higher fines. The ban has been greatly expanded. All the details.

  • Those guilty of using cell phones face large fines abroad

  • The permanently installed touch screen is also subject to mobile phone ban

  • An overview of the case law on the topic of cell phone infringement

Cell phone blocking – what does the regulation include?

Since the 2017 amendment to the Road Traffic Regulations, it’s become more and more clear: Calling a cell phone with one’s ear is not only prohibited. All others Functions of cell phones or car phones You are not allowed to use it as a driver. So, for example, nothing Text messages Write or read, Calls Refuse or just look at the screen after time Look.

Since then, this has been true of all electronic devices used for communication, information, or organization. This primarily refers to tablets, e-books, navigation devices, dictation machines, or iPods.

You may not use smartphones, tablets and co while driving, unless you are not holding them in your hand but in one place Arch Located.
But even then, care must be taken: you can only look at the device for a short time, away from traffic conditions and only if the road, traffic, visibility and weather conditions permit.

When your car is stationary and you have a Stop the engine completely, But then you are allowed to use cell phones etc. in hand And use.

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Incidentally, the ban also applies to cyclists.

Fines for violating the mobile phone ban

What electronic devices are covered by the ban?

All smartphones, but also all other cell phones, car phones, tablet computers, touch screens, e-notes, e-book readers, MP3 players, personal computers, DVD and Blue-Ray players, smart watches, laptops, computers Laptops, dictation machines, navigation devices, televisions, iPods, playback devices with a video function, and video glasses (virtual reality glasses or Google Glass). The list of devices in the law is not exhaustive and aims only to clarify what is meant by electronic devices used in communication, information and regulation.

Can you still use the electronic park assist or the maneuvering aid if you need to look at it for a long time?

Yes, as long as it is done at a fast pace. In these cases, a vertical screen or display may also be viewed for a longer period.

Can you read an SMS text message or do an internet search?

No. Since this is not possible at a glance, it is prohibited to read SMS or use other multimedia presentations (such as Internet, TV).

How long is a “short” look?

The legislature does not provide any information on this. Therefore, in the long run, courts should determine this on a case-by-case basis.

What if the engine shuts off?

Then you can use and register electronic devices without restrictions.
However, this does not apply if the engine is only switched off using the starting function.

An overview of the case law regarding the mobile phone ban

  • Is the cell phone still working?
    Even if you only press a function key to check if the cell phone still works after dropping it, this is a use within the meaning of Section 23 Paragraph 1a StVO (KG Berlin of May 14, 2019).

  • Great cell phone
    Anyone holding a hot cell phone in front of a car’s cooling system opposes the ban, even if they use a hands-free system, especially since they do not have both hands to drive (KG Berlin from February 13, 2019)

  • Lap laptop
    Anyone who puts a laptop in their lap at a traffic light and then “continues writing for a while” when driving, ignores the ban, as it is more than a short avoidance of traffic conditions (OLG Cologne, 14.2.2019).

  • Cell phone on dashboard and video phone
    Even if you put your cell phone on the dashboard and use the video calling function, it is forbidden, because you are looking away from traffic for a longer period of time (AG Magdeburg, 20 August 2018).

  • Just taking it by hand is not forbidden
    Meanwhile, the higher regional courts have also agreed that it is not forbidden after picking up a cell phone as long as it is not used in some way (OLG Oldenburg from April 17, 2019). So it is not forbidden to move a cell phone, for example to put something away.

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Violation of cell phone abroad

All European countries agree that using a phone while driving is a high risk of accidents. Disagreement It prevails in punishment for the guilty and cell phones The amount of fines. So ADAC’s lawyers have compiled an overview of the fines applied in European holiday countries.

Brooke Vargas

"Devoted gamer. Webaholic. Infuriatingly humble social media trailblazer. Lifelong internet expert."

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