Starting in July, drivers in Germany will have to wear reflective vests in cars, and there is a fine for breach of duty. On the same date, the environmental rules for entry into some German cities are also tightened, to which cars with red and yellow emission plaques will no longer be allowed.
The inclusion of a reflective vest in the mandatory equipment of the car should improve the safety of drivers who have to leave the car in the event of an accident or breakdown, as motorists will be able to see them more easily in the surrounding vehicles. The new design does not specify whether the reflective vest should be orange, yellow or green. Unlike Austria, German regulations will not require a vest for every passenger of the car, one will be enough per vehicle.
If the driver does not have a reflective vest with reflective tape in his car, he is at risk of a fine of 15 euros (410 crowns) at the roadside check. German car club ADAC, however, warns that if the driver of the vest when getting off the vehicle, it is not an offense. In this case, however, he will probably not be entitled to compensation from the insurance company if he is injured by a passing car.
Since July, the rules for entry into some German cities have also been tightened. While so far cars with three types of emission plaques were allowed to enter, only cars with a green plaque, which indicates the engine with the least environmental impact, will now be allowed to enter. The measure concerns 21 cities in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Similar arrangements have been in place for example in Berlin.
The type of emission plaque is determined by the number of harmful substances that the vehicle emits into the atmosphere during operation. The Green Plaque has been eligible for petrol-powered cars since 1993, diesel-powered passenger cars since 2006 and trucks put into operation since October 2006. All-electric vehicles are also automatically awarded the Green Plaque.
In the Czech Republic, it is possible to obtain the plaque at most technical inspection stations upon the presentation of a large technical certificate. According to the Central Automotoclub of the Czech Republic, the price of the plaque is around 300 crowns, its validity is not limited in time.
Should the driver enter the defined low-emission zone without an emission plaque or with a lower grade than the given city permits, he will face a fine of EUR 80 (CZK 2200).