German road markings (2023)

General road markings in Germany are white. Although there are some special cases. One of these special cases are road construction areas. Various types of materials are used to paint these marks. Some of them are significantly higher than the road surface. For example road markings. When a tire rolls over the gauge, it makes a special sound to warn the driver. All of these markings are discussed below.

  1. Solid white line
  2. Broken white line
  3. Solid and broken white line
  4. directional arrows
  5. advance notice arrow
  6. Arrow indicating the end of a lane
  7. stop line
  8. queue
  9. No parking road marking
  10. Marking of pedestrian crossings
  11. Road markings in a construction area
  12. Bicycle path
  13. Tips on road markings and speed limits
  14. bus lane
  15. Parking lot striping

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1. Solid white line

Solid white line

A solid white line down the middle of the road (lane delimitation) prohibits traffic on either side. Overtaking on such a road is not allowed as vehicles are not allowed to cross the solid white line and motorcyclists are not allowed to lean over the solid line. Parking is only permitted if there is a distance of at least three meters between the parked vehicle and the solid line in the middle of the lane. Metal rails are installed on the highway network to separate oncoming traffic. White solid lines on the highway do not separate oncoming traffic, but instead separate traffic going in the same direction.

The solid white line at the side of the road, also called the road boundary (lane boundary) is slightly higher than the road surface (about half a centimeter). It separates the driveway from hard shoulders or other special routes. Parking or stopping on the left side of the line is prohibited.

There are few exceptions when a solid white line can be crossed. Under some special conditions sign 223.1-51allows progress on hard shoulders while sign 511indicates that all traffic in the adjacent lane to the shoulder must change to the shoulder and cross the solid white line. For more information, seedriving on the highwaybook page.

If there is property behind a solid white line and there is no other way to drive through, the solid white line can be crossed. The driver who crosses the solid line does not have priority and must avoid other road users and the flow of traffic must not be endangered.

2. Broken white line

The single broken white line, also known as the guideline (guideline) is used for guidance. Crossing this line is permitted (turning left across this line, turning around or overtaking other vehicles is permitted).

There are two types of broken white lines:

  1. thick lines
  2. thin lines

Thin lines are used to divide traffic on a roadway into two or more lanes.
They serve to separate the lane for oncoming traffic. Please see the following picture.

Thick broken line separating the exit

Thick lines are used to separate different routes before junctions or junctions.
They also separate the highway acceleration and exit lanes.

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If you are new to German traffic and confused with thick and thin lines, then a simple rule of thumb is to always organize the vehicle so that thick lines are on your right and thin lines are on your left.

3. Solid and broken white line

Solid and broken white line

Vehicles driving on the side of the broken line are allowed to cross the line and pass other vehicles, but vehicles with the solid line to their left are not allowed to cross it and pass other vehicles. In German, this subdivision is called a laneOne-sided lane delimitation.

Parking is only allowed if there is a distance of at least three meters between the parked vehicle and the white solid line. So the dashed line lane has slightly more room to park than the solid line side. Violating the solid line can be punished with a fine of up to 150 euros, causing an accident or endangering other road users with a fine of up to 300 euros and a driving ban of one month.

4. Directional Arrows

directional arrows

directional arrows(arrow marks)are deleted before crossings or junctions. They warn motorists to get their vehicles on the right lane. Lanes can be changed until they are broken. As soon as a vehicle approaches the solid white line, changing lanes is no longer allowed. Parking or stopping is prohibited in these lanes.

5. Advance notice arrow

advance notice arrow

A pre-announcement arrow(advance notice arrow)indicates the end or beginning of an authorized crossing. When the arrowhead is pointing to the left, it indicates an authorized overtaking area or broken line is approaching. When the arrowhead is pointing to the right, it warns you not to rejoin the lane.

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6. Arrow indicating end of lane

Arrows indicate the end of a lane

A steeper arrow in the middle of the lane indicates an end of lane. Vehicles in this lane must merge into the adjacent lane.

7. Hold line

stop line

The stop line on the street(stop line)is a white solid line. It indicates that the driver must come to a complete stop before continuing. A stop line without a stop sign corresponds to the hexagonal red stop sign, even if no stop sign is installed.

8. Queue

queue

A thick white broken line is a queue(waiting line). It indicates that the driver must give way to traffic on the next priority road/lane. If necessary, stop completely to allow traffic to gather on the priority road before proceeding. A queue is equivalent to a give way sign even if no give way sign is installed.

9. No parking road markings

No parking markings

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Zigzag pattern markings on the road(Border marking for stopping or parking bans)indicate parking or stopping restrictions. These markings are often seen at bus and tram stops.

10. Restricted Area Road Markings

Road markings for restricted areas

An area marked with a stripe pattern(restricted area)access is forbidden. It is used to increase or decrease the number of lanes on the road.

11. Pedestrian crossing marking

Pedestrians have the right way over the pedestrian crossing(pedestrian crossing). It is recommended that the vehicle slow down when approaching a pedestrian crossing and be aware of both ends of the pedestrian crossing. Stopping or parking within five meters of a pedestrian crossing is prohibited.

To learn more about pedestrian crossings in Germany, please visit the pageImportant traffic signs in Germany. To learn more about pedestrian street crossing rules, please visit the pageright of way.

12. Road markings in a construction area

Road areas under construction in Germany are often colored with additional yellow lines. These lines take precedence over regular white lines. All other white line rules apply to these temporary yellow lines as well.

13. Bike path

Please note that this is a crossing and not an intersection as left turning is prohibited due to the solid line. Vehicles turning right across the cycle lane must give way to cyclists.

The bike path can be painted in street color only or in maroon color. It is separated from other lanes by a solid white line. Parking or stopping on the bike path is prohibited.

Sometimes the bike lane is on the sidewalk. It may or may not share the pedestrian street. On the pavement, a maroon color is not required for the bike path. It can be without any color (standard pavement color). Cyclists have no special priority or right of way. They count as a normal vehicle.

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14. Tips on lane markings and speed limits (in town)

If no speed limit is displayed. A speed limit of 30 km/h generally applies on roads without center line markings. On these roads, right before left applies unless there is a sign indicating the right of way. The driver should remain vigilant at every intersection and crossing of oncoming traffic on the right.

Where there is a central guideline (solid or broken) the maximum speed is normally 50 km/h unless otherwise stated. Traffic on these roads has normalpriority. Either specified by signor sign. However, in the absence of priority signs, only the centerline markings do not determine a road's priority.

15. Bus lane

In some cities, buses have their own lane. Other vehicles are not allowed to drive, park or stop in the bus lane. Overtaking slow buses is allowed. Trams do not have designated lanes. Their lanes can be between normal traffic or separate. A tram that moves between normal traffic does not have special priority or priorityright of wayunless marked by a traffic sign.

16. Marking of parking spaces

Parking lines are also often painted on the ground, as shown in suffixes 1053-38and characters 1053-39.These types of markings regulate the arrangement of parking areas and their demarcation from the flow of traffic. The stripes indicate how and on which areas vehicles should be parked. If the sidewalk is not restricted for pedestrians, parking lanes can also be marked on sidewalks. These stripes are painted in the form of narrow lines and can be displayed in both solid and broken patterns. However, at least the four corners of the single parking space must be recognizable.

Vertical parking lanes

Parking diagonally to the street

Parallel parking spaces are sometimes also marked. Other floor markings in the parking area may be reserved parking spaces for the disabled.

parallel parking strips

Parallel parking strips for special people

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Multiple parking marking

FAQs

What are the yellow zigzag lines on the road in Germany? ›

The yellow zigzag line marks the area of the road where parking is prohibited, as it is reserved for another purpose. Therefore, we often see these markings at bus stops or loading and unloading areas. In other words, it is forbidden to park with any vehicle.

What do zig zag road markings mean in Germany? ›

Zigzag pattern markings on the road (Grenzmarkierung für Halt- oder Parkverbote) indicate no parking or no stopping area. These marking are often to be seen at bus and streetcar stops.

How do you read speed limit signs in German? ›

Speed limit signs in Germany state the maximum speed in kilometres per hour (km/h). The maximum speed limit sign comprising a number within a red circle will be recognisable to most road users. However, Germany also has a minimum speed limit sign (a blue circle), which is most commonly found on the German autobahn.

How do I know if I'm on the Autobahn? ›

There are 8,080 miles1 of Autobahn throughout Germany, with the distinctive roads being easily identified by a unique set of blue and white signs. Another set of highways in Germany, the Gelbe Autobahn (yellow Autobahn), features yellow signs.

What does a flashing yellow arrow mean in Germany? ›

Flashing amber light: you may proceed only if it is safe to do so and, if appropriate, yield to other traffic. Flashing amber arrow: you may proceed in the direction of the arrow but only if it is safe to do so, and you must yield if other traffic is approaching.

What does a flashing yellow light mean in Germany? ›

Flashing yellow light alone: the intersection is not regulated by traffic lights, proceed with caution.

Can you turn right on red in Germany? ›

In Germany, right turns on red are only permitted when a sign is present at the traffic light, after a complete stop. This rule was first introduced in 1978 in East Germany.

What are the yellow lines in Germany? ›

Yellow lines are to notate a change in the traffic flow in a construction area – not to separate the different sides of the road. Diving lanes: Stay in right lane whenever possible. After passing, go back to the right lane. The left lane should only be used for passing, especially on the Autobahn.

What do stop signs in Germany say? ›

German Road Signs: Warning

In Germany, both the yield and stop signs are identical to the signs you would find in the United States. Yield signs are an upside down triangle (pictured right), Stop signs are a red octagon (pictured left).

Can you go whatever speed you want in Germany? ›

SPEED LIMIT ON THE AUTOBAHN IN GERMANY

The German government recommends a maximum speed of 130 kph, so about 80 mph per hour on autobahns, but drivers are free to go as fast as they want in de-restricted sections of the autobahns. Yes, as fast as you want!

Can you go whatever speed you want on the Autobahn? ›

What is the speed limit on German motorways? On the autobahn, there are areas where there are no speed limits, and they are marked with circular white signs with four black diagonal lines. Some of the motorway has a 130 km/h (~80 mph) advisory speed limit for all vehicles under 3.5 tonnes.

How much can you go over the speed limit in Germany? ›

Driving merely 3 km/h (2 mph) or faster above the posted or implied speed limit is considered a punishable infraction in Germany. The speeding fines are set by federal law (German: Bußgeldkatalog, schedule of fines).

Can 150 mph drive on Autobahn? ›

In fact, over two thirds of the network has no speed limit, although these stretches still have a 'recommended speed' of 80 mph (130 km/h). It may be no surprise to learn that drivers regularly top speeds of 100 mph on these parts of the autobahn, averaging 150 mph in the left lane.

Can you pass on both the right and left on the Autobahn? ›

You can only pass slower cars using the left lane. You are not allowed to pass a vehicle using the right lane on the Autobahn. When there is traffic congestion, all drives must either pull over and drive on the right-hand side or left-hand side. This opens a center lane for emergency vehicles.

What is the fastest speed ever recorded on the Autobahn? ›

The fastest speed ever officially recorded on the autobahn was set by famed German racing driver Rudolf Caracciola in 1938 when he reached 432.7 km/h (268 mph) in the Mercedes-Benz W125 Rekordwagen on a closed section.

What happens if I cross a red light in Germany? ›

Traffic light violations – The minimum fine for running a red light – when there are no endangerments or damages – is €90 plus a point on the license. The fines are significantly higher when consequences occur as a result of running the light.

Is it illegal to cross the road on a red light in Germany? ›

Hier sind Kinder! ' (It's red, there are kids here). Crossing the road when it's a red light - jaywalking - is illegal in Germany and you can face a fine of between €5 and €10 if you're caught.

Where is it forbidden to stop in Germany? ›

Autobahn Traffic Laws and Regulations

Stopping, parking, u-turns, and backing up on the Autobahn is prohibited.

What is the right before left rule in Germany? ›

The "right before left" rule is applicable in intersections and junctions (a place where vehicles have to cross perpendicular to each other). If there are no traffic signs or signals in an intersection or junction, a vehicle approaching from the right has the right-of-way over a vehicle on its left.

What is the correct procedure for turning left at a roundabout in Germany? ›

Turning Left - To turn left, get in the left lane (if present) and turn on your left signal. After entering the roundabout, proceed to the inner- most lane, indicating right immediately after the exit prior to your own.

What does yellow diamond mean Germany? ›

This yellow diamond indicates the start of a priority road at all upcoming intersections before the 'End of priority' sign. It features three horizontal stripes to show that the priority road has ended.

Can you idle your car in Germany? ›

Car Idling Unnecessary car idling is prohibited under state and local environmental and noise laws as well as traffic law. The standard fine for causing unnecessary noise or exhaust pollution is € 10. Local or state ordinance fines can be higher.

Is driving in Germany difficult? ›

Is driving a car in Germany easy? Driving in Germany will be easy if you are used to driving on the right. If you normally drive on the left, you may want to get used to driving on the right side of the road first. You can practice this, for example, in the parking lot or with someone who normally drives on the right.

Is it hard for Americans to drive in Europe? ›

Is it difficult for an American to drive in Europe? Not really. If you prepare ahead of time and get the right documentation (IDP) and a rental car you're comfortable with (automatic transmission), you should be fine.

What does the green arrow indicate Germany? ›

When used by itself, a green arrow indicates a protected left turn. If the arrow is off, then obey the signals for straight-through traffic. Right turns on red are generally not permitted in Germany.

What does red mean in Germany? ›

“Rot wie die Liebe”, red as love, the Germans say.

What is the fine for running a red light in Germany? ›

Running an "old" red light (longer than 1 sec.)
...
Here are the specific sections.
ViolationFine (€)Points
4 to 8 months25
more than 8 months601
1 more row

What does crossing your fingers mean in Germany? ›

Die Daumen drücken (“Pressing the thumbs”)

In Germany, you press your thumbs when you're wishing someone good luck. It's the equivalent of crossing your fingers for someone. Someone might say to you “Ich drück' dir die Daumen!” in the same way one says “I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you!” in English.

What is the German traffic rule? ›

In Germany, as in all of its neighbouring countries, cars drive on the right-hand side of the road. In addition, there is a right lane rule on motor roads and highways. That means that one should stay as far to the right as possible and use the left lane only to pass another driver.

What is right of way in German law? ›

In Germany, drivers have to yield to the right when no signs or traffic lights indicate otherwise, Savovski said. This applies most of the time to residential or industrial areas or 30 kph zones. Most roundabouts have yield signs, which means cars in the circle have the right of way, Savovski said.

Why do European roads have zig zag lines? ›

Zigzag line road markings explained

They are designed to indicate that parking and overtaking in these zones is strictly prohibited. The same rule applies to yellow zigzag lines, which are found outside of schools, hospitals, police and fire stations.

What do yellow lines on the road mean in Europe? ›

Yellow lines are used to indicate that traffic on the other side of the line is going in the opposite direction. A solid yellow line indicates that crossing it to overtake is not allowed.

Why are these lines painted yellow Germany? ›

Yellow markings: Yellow road markings are used in construction areas. These markings supercede all of the white markings. Yellow markings may consist of traffic paint or raised pavement markers. Colored curb markings are not used in Germany.

Why is Autobahn so special? ›

Germany's autobahns are famous for being among the few public roads in the world without blanket speed limits for cars and motorcycles.

Why are German roads so smooth? ›

To accommodate higher speed traffic, Autobahn road surfaces are constructed with multiple layers of concrete. Autobahn roads are also inspected regularly for irregularities in the road surface or any damage. If anything is found during these inspections, the whole area of road around the damaged section is replaced.

Can you cross a solid white line Europe? ›

You may cross the line if necessary, provided the road is clear, to pass a stationary vehicle, or overtake a pedal cycle, horse or road maintenance vehicle, if they are travelling at 10 mph (16 km/h) or less. Areas of white diagonal stripes or chevrons painted on the road.

What does double broken white line mean? ›

Double broken white lines in the centre of a road are alerting you to continuous white lines up ahead. You can overtake on double broken white lines, but you should be aware that a solid white is coming up.

What does a broken white line on the road mean? ›

WHITE LINES painted on the pavement indicate traffic traveling in your direction. Broken White Line: you may change lanes if it is safe to do so. Solid White Line: requires you to stay within the lane and also marks the shoulder of the roadway.

What's the difference between single and double yellow lines? ›

Kerb markings

Single yellow marks on the kerb indicate there is a loading ban during certain times as displayed on the nearby street sign. Please check the times on the sign. Double yellow kerb marks mean no stopping at any time.

What does a single zig zag yellow line mean? ›

Single yellow zigzag line. No parking on this side of the road at all times, except for immediate pick-up and drop-off. Violation of this rule attracts demerit points and a fine. Double yellow zigzag lines. No stopping on this side of the road at all times.

Can 200 mph drive on autobahn? ›

SPEED LIMIT ON THE AUTOBAHN IN GERMANY

The German government recommends a maximum speed of 130 kph, so about 80 mph per hour on autobahns, but drivers are free to go as fast as they want in de-restricted sections of the autobahns. Yes, as fast as you want! (Still.)

What is the fastest speed ever recorded on the autobahn? ›

The fastest speed ever officially recorded on the autobahn was set by famed German racing driver Rudolf Caracciola in 1938 when he reached 432.7 km/h (268 mph) in the Mercedes-Benz W125 Rekordwagen on a closed section.

How thick is the concrete on the autobahn? ›

thick, Autobahns are about 8 in. thick, and other classes of pavements fall some- what m between. Expansion joints are usually omitted and contraction jomt spacings vary from 15 to about 35 ft.

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