Safety vests will be mandatory starting in July 2014

Carrying a safety vest has been mandatory in other European countries for quite a while. Starting in July 2014, it will be mandatory in Germany for passenger vehicles as well.  Photo: djd/Zentralverband Deutsches Kraftfahrzeuggewerbe e. V.Safety equipment belongs into the passenger compartment and not into the trunk

(djd/pt). Safety vests in vehicles have been mandatory in other European countries for quite some time. Starting in July 2014, safety vests become mandatory for passenger vehicles in Germany as well. If you get caught by the police without a vest, you will be fined. The German Automobile Association points out the vest should be put on before getting out of vehicle.

Wearing a safety vest almost doubles a pedestrian’s chance of being seen by others. Therefore, the trunk is the not the perfect place to store the safety vest. Ideal places for storing them are the back pockets of the front seats, below the seats, the glove compartment, or the door pockets where they can easily be reached. Putting on a safety vest is not only useful because it is legally mandatory. Tests by the Technical Control Board Rheinland have shown that the visibility of pedestrians significantly increases when wearing reflective safety vests. Without safety vests, pedestrians can be seen at dusk from a maximum distance of 80 meters, with a safety vest the visibility increases to 150 meters. meaning it nearly doubles. This significantly increases the safety on highways and autobahns.

Purchase only safety vests that are conforming to standards
When buying a safety vest, make sure it conforms with Euro norm EN 471, meaning it complies with the regulations for safety equipment used in public traffic. If you want to be safe, don’t buy a special offer but consult a certified car repair shop. It makes sense, by the way, to have more than one safety vest in the vehicle. That way, all passengers can also easily be seen when having to leave the vehicle.

It can be expensive
Not carrying a safety vest in the car with you can be expensive in Europe. Fines range between 50 and 1,375 Euro in Belgium. In Portugal fines range from 60 to 300 Euro, and increases for not wearing the vest after a breakdown from 120 to 600 Euro. Therefore, investing a small amount of Euro into a vest is worth it – it protects you on the road and from fines.

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