Saturday 17rd April 2021

Lamps and lights on motorcycle clothing and helmets!

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What is allowed when it comes to lamps and lights on motorcycle clothing and helmets? Or should it read better: What is not forbidden? We bring light into a gray area. Visibility in traffic is essential for many motorcyclists. The market is responding to this need with a large number of "luminous" accessories. From LED tubes for motorcycle jackets over Reflective tapes for luggage up to Brake lights for helmets or helmets with already integrated lights, the choice is huge. Many people ask themselves the legitimate question: is that even allowed? Die Antwort: Yes and no. It's not that simple yet, but we'll get to the bottom of it in more detail.

Regulations in the StVO? Nothing.

The federal and state governments agree on one thing: This regulates the legal framework for lighting on motorcycle clothing and helmets Road Traffic Regulations (StVO). The federal government sets up the road traffic regulations, but it is can not be responsible for implementation. This in turn falls within the responsibility of each individual federal state. "The others are responsible“, These are typical statements. Nobody sees themselves as responsible and feels responsible. What in the StVO is clearly regulatedis the lighting on the motorcycle itself. But a regulation for lights and lights on motorcycle clothing? Nothing. In the absence of a suitable regulation, there must be Section 1 (2) of the StVO serve. "Anyone who takes part in traffic must behave in such a way that no one else is harmed, endangered or more than unavoidable under the circumstances, hindered or annoyed.“You learned that in the driver's license test, but it doesn't add anything concrete to our question.

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So it's no wonder that portals and forums are full of questions to legality of the lamps, lights and luminaires offered for clothing and helmet. The conclusion from the numerous discussions: "It's a gray area". Try it out and wait to see if you can get away with it, there's not much else left to do.

What does the road traffic regulations say?

A look at the road traffic regulations (StVO) shows none explicit regulations on how the clothing and helmets of road users must be designed. Whether the federal government plans the StVO accordingly to expand and to concretise? Who knows! Often, reference is simply made to the federal states that are responsible for implementation. But how is uniform implementation supposed to take place if there is no uniform regulation? The fact is: road safety is the top priority for the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure. Therefore, you put on it, the clothes meaningful and clearly visible to road users is used. It should therefore be clear that nobody is allowed to wear clothes endanger or hinder. This can be the case, for example, when particularly conspicuous clothing distracts the other road users and thereby endangers road safety. This applies to motorcyclists, in particular to luminous elements on protective clothing or safety helmets.

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a lot of questions remain unanswered

But who can judge what distracts or confuses other road users? This can then only be considered on a case-by-case basis and is always different. In case of doubt, who decides whether the signal pattern will be changed by lamps on the clothing? Is that what the local police do? Is there a recommendation for this that you can use as a guide? Is the signal pattern at night decisive here? When the going gets tough, an expert will have to examine the individual case. Was there a distraction or danger to other road users, for example due to a glare effect? In the end, those are the questions!

Incidentally, various traffic law experts are of the opinion that lamps and lights on motorcycle clothing and helmets according to the current legal situation none lighting equipment in the sense of the road traffic regulations. At least with regard to reflective strips. Of course, only if they do not dazzle other road users. So you should make sure that the bulbs have a valid E-label. However, these statements are nowhere specifically regulated. In the end, it always depends on the police officer and his discretion on site.

The guideline must come from the federal government

A uniform regulation must come from the federal government at some point, in accordance with § 1 paragraph 2 StVO with regard to lights on motorcycle clothing expanded and concretized becomes. That too Follow up a suitable regulation would be a possibility. In view of the unclear legal situation regarding lighting on motorcycle clothing, there is no sure advice to be given. If you want to be 100% sure and not fear any legal consequences, you have to do without additional lights completely. Otherwise you should make sure that other road users are not impaired.

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