Cycling is one of the most popular modes of commuting in Germany, as in most other European countries. Not only is it a healthier way to travel, it's faster. Cycling saves money and time, and it's also great for your health. Best of all, it's an eco-friendly option for traveling and getting around.
European Union Legislation
Legislation within the EU results in a fairly uniform approach to handling PEV and E-Bike laws within most countries in Europe. EU directive 2002/24/EC exempts certain bicycle or electric bike models from type approval. This is provided they are equipped with pedal assistance and an auxiliary electric motor, maintaining a continuous rated power of 0.25 kW/250W. Once the vehicle reaches 25 km/h (15.5 mph), or the cyclist stops pedaling, this output will gradually drop and eventually cut off.
Germany is a bike-friendly country. It pays special attention to the roads and conditions of all cyclists, providing them with the best possible way to get from one place to another safely. German citizens have almost completely changed their way of life when it comes to commuting to and from get off work. Using a car is almost a last resort. Bicycles and e-bikes have become more popular during the pandemic, leading to a surge in sales and demand. All of this has sparked a need for regulation of German bicycle law.
Tourists in Germany often want to get on their bikes, electric bikes or folding bikes and get into traffic. However, certain laws apply to bicycles and e-bikes in Germany that all current and future cyclists need to know about. Many laws also apply to e-bikes, as some e-bike types may fall into the bicycle category.
German Laws for Cycling
Germany is a strict country when it comes to maintaining laws and regulations, and the same applies to bicycles and e-bikes.
1. General bicycle requirements
Here are some general bike requirements:
- Every bicycle or e-bike must have a non-flashing white or amber headlight;
- The weight does not exceed 55 kg;
- The minimum/maximum speed should be 6 to 20 km/h;
- Every bicycle or e-bike must have headlights/side reflectors and bells;
- Each bicycle or e-bike must have two separate breaks.
All of these items are essential and need to function so that cyclists can enter German traffic. If not, there are corresponding fees, such as:
- No or non-working bell or brake: 15e;
- Bicycle light damaged or missing: 20e;
- Riding without lights at night, poor visibility, shading or dirty lights: 20e;
2. Bicycle license
Riders in Germany do not need a driver's license to operate a bicycle or e-bike. They only need to be over 14 years old.
3. One person per bike/e-bike only
German law only allows one person per bicycle/e-bike. Cycling with children under the age of 7 is only permitted if a car seat or special trailer is installed on the bicycle.
4. Put your hands on the handlebars
Cycling in Germany requires cyclists to keep their hands on the handlebars. Otherwise, risk your security and be fined.
Germany allows bicycles to be parked anywhere. However, it should not hinder or endanger anyone. It is best to park your bike/e-bike where most bikes are parked. However, causing a blockage will result in a traffic fine of 70e.
6. Helmet method
There is no official legal requirement to wear a helmet while riding a bicycle or e-bike. It's up to the cyclist to decide for himself. However, wearing a helmet while riding is strongly recommended. This is for personal safety and will reduce the chance of serious brain or head injury in the event of an accident.
7. Headphone method
There is no law against wearing headphones while cycling. You can adjust the volume yourself to stay alert and pay attention to the traffic around you while riding.
If you cycle regularly, one of the most important German insurances you will need is personal liability insurance. First is health insurance, and second is what matters. Having such coverage is very important if you cause personal injury or damage to someone else's personal property. For cycling, it covers everything from hitting a pedestrian while walking on a bike path, to a parked bike falling over and damaging some car or other property.
Bike road rules for cycling in Germany
The German bike laws also apply to the bike road rules. That means that the cyclist must be compliant with them, the same as if you were driving a car. Here are some more specific bike rules that apply to cycling in Germany:
1.Don’t drink and cycle
This is considered the most important bike cycling rule in Germany. Cycling under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or medication is strictly forbidden. If stopped by the police and checked, the cyclist can face criminal charges.
2.No phone in the hands while cycling
An important rule that applies to the bike road rules is not to hold your phone while cycling. This is a serious offense that results in a fine if stopped by the police.
3.Cycle in the bicycle lane
When available, cycling in the bike lane is a must. It is safer for the cyclist, as well as for the other participants in the traffic too. Unless there is an obstruction, the cyclists must cycle in the designated lanes. Such lanes are usually separated by a curb from the road, have an extension of the pavement with a different color or pattern, or have markings with a painted bicycle diagram.
4.Never cycle on highways or motor roads
Since it is dangerous, it is strictly forbidden to ride a bike on highways or motor roads in Germany.
Honbike has been striving to expand the global market, and our products are in compliance with e-bike laws and regulations of various countries. So, if you are living or planning a trip to Germany, you can take our foldable HF01 or sleek U4 to start an easy and fun journey.