German Road Traffic Act rewritten

Jurawiki has a full copy of the new text of the German Straßenverkehrsordnung (Road Traffic Act) as revised by Wolf Schneider, who is well-known for his books on improving the style of written German – a mammoth task to judge by the stuff I am given to translate into English. Schneider was commissioned to do this by the Auto Club Europa (ACE). But it was the German Federal Ministry of Transport (Bundesverkehrsministerium) that asked ACE to look into the matter.

This is just a suggestion and not law. Some of the vocabulary that is changed: Wechsellichtzeichen (‘changing light signs’) becomes Ampel (traffic lights); Schallzeichen (‘noise sign’) becomes Hupe (horn); Führer von Krafträdern (‘person in charge of motorized wheeled vehicles’) becomes Motorradfahrer (motorcyclist).

(via Ralf Zosel at LAWgical)

3 thoughts on “German Road Traffic Act rewritten

  1. Hi Margaret

    I’ve been translating texts for Siemens traffic controlsystems for years now and a “Wechsellichtzeichen” has always been a “variable message sign”.They have never been amd have nothing in common with “traffic lights”



  2. That’s interesting – maybe it’s a superordinate term that includes both?
    Here’s StVO § 37: Wechselllichtzeichen, Dauerlichtzeichen und Grünpfeil:

    (1) Lichtzeichen gehen Vorrangregeln, vorrangregelnden Verkehrsschildern und Fahrbahnmarkierungen vor.

    (2) Wechsellichtzeichen haben die Farbfolge Grün-Gelb-Rot-Rot und Gelb (gleichzeitig)-Grün. Rot ist oben, Gelb in der Mitte und Grün unten.

  3. Here’s a picture of more than one type:
    But the variable message sign (judging by a Google image search that seems to be what it sounds like, where the text can change) seems to be something else. Is there another term for it in German? The most likely term I can find in the StVO is Lichtzeichenanlage.

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