These penalties and fines threaten in Germany

Anyone who uses their mobile phone while driving a vehicle must expect penalties and fines. Distractions such as smartphones increase the risk of accidents. Nevertheless, many drivers use their mobile phones while driving. But what is actually allowed and what are the penalties for a violation?

Smartphones have become an indispensable everyday companion for many people. This also applies when driving a car and on the road. Because more and more people use their smartphone as a navigation device or want to be reachable on the go.

Mobile phone at the wheel: what is forbidden and what is allowed?

Loud Section 23 paragraph 1a of the Road Traffic Act (StVO) However, it is forbidden to use electronic communication devices such as cell phones while driving. According to this, drivers are not allowed to pick up or operate their smartphones while driving.

Only a quick look at the device is allowed, for example if it is used as a navigation device in a holder. According to German law, it is definitely forbidden to use a mobile phone while driving or to hold it to your ear while driving.

Smartphone while driving: There are these exceptions

However, the ban on use applies not only to mobile devices such as smartphones and external navigation devices, but also to music and navigation devices permanently installed in the vehicle. As with cell phones, only a “quick glance” at the devices is allowed. And with good reason: Distractions increase the risk of accidents considerably.

So navigation routes should be started before driving. However, whether and which operations are permitted or prohibited in individual cases still has to be clarified legally in some cases. However, there are also some exceptions. For example, if you want to change the navigation on the way, you should play it safe, bring the car to a standstill and switch off the engine.

Because that’s allowed by law. However, if you use your cell phone while driving while the car is at a traffic light or level crossing, you risk fines and penalties. From a purely legal point of view, a vehicle is not considered switched off even if the automatic start and stop system is activated. Telephoning is only allowed when the engine is completely off.

Mobile phone at the wheel: This is how high the penalties and fines are in Germany

The fines and penalties for offenses against the mobile phone ban while driving are different. Because if other road users are endangered or property is damaged, the penalties increase. The fines for violations are according to the catalog of fines of the StVO

  • 128.50 euros and one point in Flensburg for using cell phones while driving
  • 178.40 euros, two points in Flensburg and a month’s driving ban for endangered cell phone use
  • 228.50 euros, two points in Flensburg and a month’s driving ban for mobile phone use with property damage
  • 83.50 euros for cell phone use on the bike

If the illegal use of a mobile phone at the wheel results in an accident with injuries or even death, drivers can even face imprisonment.

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