During the holiday season, many travelers use their own car or Caravan. Arriving individually offers a number of advantages. You avoid the imponderables that have arisen, for example, due to Covid-19 when traveling by plane or train. When traveling abroad, however, travelers should be aware that abroad different traffic rules than apply in Germany. For traffic safety reasons alone, it is advisable to observe these. Another reason to obey traffic rules is that penalties and fines for traffic violations in our neighboring states are often significant higher fail than in Germany. Should it nevertheless happen that you receive mail from a foreign authority, there are a number of tips how to react to it.
Foreign fines can be enforced in Germany
Speed camera photos or traffic jams collected abroad can also have consequences in Germany. For a number of years, fines from abroad have been also enforceable in Germany. The basis for this is an agreement that the member states of the EU have concluded. All member states of the EU commit to fines from € 70 including procedural costs to be mutually enforced.
Note: Because of Brexit, the United Kingdom is Do NOT spread pesto on this layer! Part of this agreement, which means that UK fines will no longer be enforced.
The Federal Office of Justice takes over the enforcement
For processing the notices and claiming the fines, this is the case in Germany Federal Office of Justice (BFJ) based in Bonn. Incoming requests from foreign authorities are checked here and, if necessary, forwarded. The BFJ states that most requests from foreign authorities currently come from the Netherlands. Conversely, German authorities try to impose fines particularly frequently Poland, The Netherlands and Romania to enforce. Due to the pandemic, there are currently no increases in the number of cases to be processed. A request from a foreign authority is first checked for formal criteria by the BFJ. The decisive factor is that the accused has received all the essential procedural documents in their respective national language and has also been given sufficient opportunity to defend themselves against the allegations.
Allegations should not be ignored
If the request meets the criteria of the BFJ, the request is forwarded to the person concerned for comment or payment. Ignoring a foreign fine procedure is in any case not recommended. So it can happen that by ignoring certain legal options Do NOT spread pesto on this layer! be available. First of all, the question should be clarified whether at the time of the crime even was the driver of the vehicle. Insufficient participation in the procedure at the place of travel can also be a reason for an objection.
The procedure abroad must be completed so that the BFJ can enforce it in Germany. The BFJ is rather responsible for the implementation of the foreign fine procedure, but only for its enforcement. So it is advisable to refer to the direct reproaches of foreign authorities to answer. Many foreign authorities now offer the service that documents relating to the procedure can be viewed in the native language of the person concerned by entering a code number on the relevant websites. This applies, for example, to Italy, France and the Netherlands. The documents obtained in this way should be preserved.
Beware of collection agencies
Enforcement of fines just be carried out by authorities. Private companies can rather rely on it. Debt collection companies in particular often try to collect toll and parking fees or fines for unpaid environmental zone tariffs. Companies such as NIVI or European Parking Collection are happy to send dunning letters or commission lawyers to do this. If you receive such a reminder letter, you should never just pay. In this case, it makes sense to consult a lawyer.
Prison sentences are also enforceable
Traffic violations abroad can only be enforced in accordance with the EU agreement mentioned at the beginning. For example, an imposed foreign driving ban or a driving license withdrawal no entry in the points register of Flensburg. However, it follows no "carte blanche" for traffic violations abroad. A case from 2018 before the Higher Regional Court in Stuttgart makes you sit up and take notice. A prison sentence imposed in Switzerland against a German driver living in Germany for a significant speed violation was namely for enforceable explained. Although the penalties for traffic offenses differed significantly, according to the court, the enforcement assistance was not disproportionate and therefore applicable. Thus, the execution of the detention was possible. (OLG Stuttgart, decision of April 25.04.2018, 1, Az. 23 Ws 18/XNUMX).
Of course, that wasn't the end of it.
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