Traffic rules in Austria are constantly improving. On Monday, April 1, 2019, the 30th amendment to the Road Traffic Act (30. Novelle der Straßenverkehrsordnung) came into force. In this article we will look at the main statements.
One of the key changes is that the end of the cycling track should no longer be indicated by the word ‘Ende’, but the repeated bicycle symbols are still remained. When the bike path ends and the cyclist goes to nearby tracks, other road users should let him join the traffic flow on equal rights. So a cyclist who moves straight and moves from a cycle path to a general lane has an advantage over a driver who is going to turn right and is standing in the next lane. When a cyclist leaves the bike lane, for example, to make a turn to the left, the general rules for changing lanes should be applied. The amendment also clearly states that a cyclist does not have the right to drive on a zebra.
Permission for a right turn at a red light is tested. Currently, it works only at a few intersections for drivers of vehicles weighing less than 7.5 tons. Permission to make a turn is indicated by an additional panel with a green arrow next to the traffic light. Turning is allowed only if you stopped first in line and there is no threat to other traffic participants.
Another interesting change concerns children. Children from nine years old now got the right to ride a bicycle alone. However, there are several requirements to do it – attending the fourth school class and the acquisition of a bicycle license. Previously, it was possible to drive with a license only from age of ten. Scooters without an engine can now be used from eight years on the sidewalks, if it does not threaten pedestrians. Until April 1, the age limit was ten years, with a bicycle license.
Traffic rules in Austria – Electric Scooters
Electric scooters are not included in the 30th amendment, however, they are included in the 31st, which has already been adopted by the Council of Ministers and will come into force on June 1, 2019. It says that owners of scooters with a maximum power of up to 600 watts are equal to cyclists. Driving on the pedestrian lines will be prohibited. Alcohol limit is 0.8 ppm.
Read also about electrocars in Austria