Until now, drivers and owners of vehicles with a maximum design speed of less than 20 km/h have not been liable in the event of accidents. At the Traffic Court Conference, it was stated that this regulation was no longer up to date in view of vehicle developments.
Regulation no longer up to date
Currently, people who drive or own, for example, an e-scooter or a slow tractor are given an advantage over all those who drive a car, motorcycle or scooter: They only have to be liable in the event of an accident if partial fault can be proven beyond doubt. On the other hand, those who are driving a fast vehicle are liable for any damage caused in significantly more cases.
In view of the development of traffic, this regulation is no longer up to date, it was stated at the Traffic Court Conference in Goslar. The meeting, which takes place once a year, is dedicated to traffic law and debates current issues. This year’s agenda focused on issues surrounding e-scooters. The maneuverable electric scooters, which can be driven without a driver’s license, are spreading more and more, especially in large cities, are involved in more and more accidents – and travel at less than 20 km/h, which means they fall under the special liability regulation. Faster e-scooters like the KickScooter GT2 from Segway, which reaches top speeds of 70 km/h, exist but are not licensed in Germany. In addition to the chairman of the Verkehrsgerichtstag, legal scholar Ansgar Staudinger, the Automobilclub von Deutschland also spoke in favor of the change in liability law.
More resources for regulatory authorities?
In addition, there were calls for better staffing of regulatory authorities to better prosecute traffic violations committed on e-scooters. The Traffic Court Conference also understands this demand as a reaction to the increasing relevance of these vehicles in road traffic. Furthermore, it was stated that compulsory insurance for e-scooters is quite conceivable in the future.
Cycling and cannabis in focus
The agenda of the Road Safety Day also focused on issues relating to cycling safety and cannabis in road traffic. In the latter area, there were calls for an increase in THC limits, which could become particularly relevant in the event of a possible legalization of cannabis.