Rescue lane on German motorways

In Germany, the law requires drivers to pull over when there is a traffic jam on the motorways or streets outside of the cities.

Update : Nov 2018

This is mandatory to allow police cars and ambulances to get through in  the event of an accident or emergency. Please note that you must not wait until you hear sirens, you must pull over before so that the police car or ambulance can get through quickly and without delay.

On which side of the road do I pull over?

Two lanes: If you are driving in the left lane (1), you must pull over to the left side of the road. If you are driving in the right lane (2), you must pull over to the right side of the road. The ambulance will then be able to pass between the left and right lane.

Three lanes: If you are driving in the far left lane (1), you must pull over to the left side of the road. If you are driving in the middle lane (2) or the right lane (3), you must pull over to the right side of your lane. The ambulance will then be able to pass between the left and the middle lane.

Four lanes: If you are driving in the far left lane (1), you must pull over to the left side of the road. If you are driving in the three right lanes (2, 3 ,4), you must pull over one lane to your right. The ambulance will then be able to pass between the left and the first right lane.

What are the consequences if I do not follow these rules?

Not respecting these rules is considered to be an offence. You may receive a fine from 200 to 320 EUR, depending on the severity of the situation. In more extreme situations, you may also be banned from driving in Germany for the duration of one month.

  • Close the article