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An important step towards more road safety: As from 2020, it will become mandatory for longer goods vehicles to be equipped with a turn assist system. At the same time, the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) will expand the authorized network by the sections notified by the federal states. This means: As from 2 October 2019, longer goods vehicles may use additional routes in Germany. This is made possible by the 9th Amending Regulations on the field trial with longer goods vehicles.

Andreas Scheuer, Federal Minister of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, said:

Turn assist systems save lives. Therefore, we will introduce turn assist systems for longer goods vehicles in Germany starting in 2020 already. This is possible because the longer goods vehicle is not regulated by European law as a special vehicle combination. For this reason, we make use of the possibility of imposing additional technical requirements at national level. With regard to turn assist systems, Germany is, thus, on a faster track than the European Union!

The most important new provisions of the 9th Amending Regulations are:

  • More than 450 new routes will be included in the network of authorized routes.
  • For the first time, the federal states of Baden-Württemberg and Bremen will open their complete route network to longer articulated vehicles (longer goods vehicle type 1).
  • As from 1 July 2020, new longer goods vehicles using German roads must be equipped with a turn assist system and flashing side marker lamps; as from 1 July 2022, all longer goods vehicles, including existing vehicles, must be equipped with these devices.

The 9th Amending Regulations were published in the Federal Gazette on 1 October 2019 and enter into force today.

Background information:
Longer goods vehicles:
Longer goods vehicles consist of a towing vehicle and a trailer. Since 1 January 2017, it has been possible to use longer goods vehicles in regular operation on specified routes within the existing authorized network. In addition, the federal states are constantly assessing the suitability of further routes requested by interested companies and notify the Federation thereof. On this basis, the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure updates the network. This is done by Amending Regulations.

In the autumn of 2016, the Federal Highway Research Institute published its final report on the field trial with longer goods vehicles. Main findings in the report were:

  • Two runs with longer goods vehicles replace three runs with conventional goods vehicles
  • Efficiency gains and fuel savings between 15 percent and 25 percent
  • No higher need for structural maintenance of the infrastructure
  • No modal shift from rail to road

Turn Assist System:
Minister Scheuer would like to make the use of turn assist systems mandatory better sooner than later. But this is not possible as a unilateral action, i.e. without the European Union. Vehicle registration law is European law. Turn assist systems can only be made binding at the EU level. Minister Scheuer, therefore, travelled to Brussels several times to advocate the introduction of these systems as mandatory for new vehicles and vehicle types starting in 2020. For regular goods vehicles, the European Union wants to only introduce turn assist systems on a mandatory basis starting in 2022 for all new vehicle types and in 2024 for all new vehicles. Therefore, Germany is now using all its national options to accelerate the installation. Minister Scheuer thus launched the Turn Assist Scheme in July 2018. The Minister will also continue to plead with the new European Commission for a faster implementation.

For further information see:
https://www.bmvi.de/SharedDocs/DE/Dossier/Abbiegeassistent/topthema-3-abbiegeassistent-faq.html (in German)