Cell phone driving, seat belt – now penalties are doubled

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Fines for violations of the cell phone ban at the wheel or against the belt and helmet obligation will be increased significantly from May 1.

Because the penalty amounts are too low to have a deterrent effect, the federal government passed an extensive amendment to the Motor Vehicles Act (KFG) in the National Council on Thursday. Violations of the cell phone ban at the wheel or the seat belt and helmet obligation will be penalized severely from May 1.

In future, anyone caught using a cell phone while driving will have to pay 100 euros instead of the previous 50 euros. Drivers not wearing seat belts will be fined 50 euros instead of the last 35 euros. If a report is made to the authorities, the fine imposed by the rules will be increased from 72 euros to 140 euros (cell phone ban) or 72 euros to 100 euros (seat belt/helmet).

In the previous year, 88,394 seat belt violations were recorded in Austria, according to the Ministry of the Interior. One hundred thirty thousand five hundred forty drivers were reported for using a telephone without a hands-free device or punished on the spot using an administrative penalty order.

There are also numerous new regulations for driving schools and driving instructor training. For example, the movement of driving instructors has been redesigned, and a driving instructor’s card in credit card format has been introduced, issued by the district administrative authority upon successfully completing the driving instructor’s examination.

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