Dear friends of the driving school at AKH! Today we would like to introduce you to the most important amendments to the Driving Licence Act and the Motor Vehicles Act, which came into force at the end of 2018 and the start of 2019 respectively.
The “Pickerl” inspection
A lot has happened recently. First of all, there is a change in the “Pickerl” inspection, the so-called Paragraph 57A recurrent assessment. In the case of trucks, the overdraft periods have been abolished here. This means that you are not allowed to have your licence plate checked until three months before the deadline at the earliest. Why do I mention this in the post when surely a large proportion of my community are B licence drivers? The simple reason: with the B driving licence, you can of course also drive trucks! There are trucks up to 3.5 tonnes maximum permissible weight that you can drive. In this regard, the registration certificate contains the code N1. Another innovation is the fact that a maximum period of 2 months has been set for the rectification of a serious defect. Otherwise, the vehicle will not be allowed to continue its journey, even if it is still within the valid “Pickerl” period.
We all know from our driving licence training that in Austria both seat belts and helmets are compulsory and that it is forbidden to talk on the phone in the vehicle without a hands-free device. Until now, it was the case that you could only be punished if you were stopped on the spot. This means that no anonymous warrant could be sent by post afterwards if a police officer had only observed it. This has now been repealed and it is now possible to punish retrospectively through imaging techniques. As an example: You were speeding and drive into a radar device, which can now partly also flash from the front and you were not only speeding, but on the photo you can see that you are not wearing a seat belt or have the phone to your ear, then you can also be prosecuted in retrospect in this regard.
Yellow lines on the roadside
Another rule that is not yet clear to everyone is that there are yellow lines at the edge of the road or at the kerb, either unbroken or broken. These have a meaning, of course! A yellow unbroken line means that stopping and parking is prohibited here. A yellow broken line means that parking is prohibited here. This means: You may hold for 10 minutes or stand for the duration of an uninterrupted loading activity, or perform all activities that also count as holding.
Smoking in a car
Another innovation is that there is now a ban on smoking in the car if persons up to and including 18 years of age are in the car. This also means an L17 student, who is now 17, is not allowed to smoke in the car. However, he is allowed to get out and smoke in front of the car. Another example: A 16-year-old apprentice is allowed to serve all day in a fully smoked inn. If his mother picks him up in the evening by car and smokes a cigarette in the car, she may be fined up to 1000 €.
Drinking and driving
Another measure that now exists is the so-called alternative application system. It says: People who have their driving licence suspended due to alcohol can, under certain circumstances, apply for a reduction in the period of suspension by installing an Alcolock in their car.
Extension of the probationary driving licence
With the probationary driving licence, there is the offence of not entering a regulated intersection at a red light, otherwise you automatically get an extension of the probationary period or/and retraining. The regulated intersection will now be cancelled and that means, no matter what red light you run, you will get a grace period and probationary period extension. This now also applies to traffic lights at construction sites, tunnel portals, etc.
Cheating in the theory exam
As mentioned in last week’s blog, cheating with aids is sanctioned in the theory exam. With a nine-month ban.
There is also an innovation with regard to the emergency lane! It used to be the case that if you drove on the emergency lane and obstructed an emergency or breakdown service vehicle, this was a flagging offence. After the introduction of the emergency lane, this offence has not been extended. This means that up to now it has not been a flagging offence to drive illegally in the emergency lane. This is now about to change.
The child safety
There will also be a small innovation in the child savety. Previously, a child restraint system was mandatory up to the age of 14 and a body height of up to 150 cm. The harness is sufficient for heights over 150 cm. The amendment reads as follows: Up to the age of 14 and up to a body height of 135 cm, a child restraint is required. In future, the belt will reach over 135 cm…
I hope I was able to help you a little bit with this article and I would be happy if you continue to follow us on our social media channels in the future!