Austria: Significantly harsher penalties for speeders since March 2024

Bußgelder in Höhe von bis zu 7.500 Euro und Beschlagnahmung möglich

by Florian König, - 02 May 2024

In addition to "normal" drivers, there are unfortunately always drivers for whom a speed limit is a challenge to break or who are simply not interested in such regulations for a safe flow of traffic. Following Denmark's example, Austria has now significantly tightened the fines and penalties for extreme speeders, meaning that vehicles can now also be confiscated and auctioned off.

Exceeding 80 km/h leads to confiscation

In the event of extremely high speed limits being exceeded (more than 80 km/h in urban areas or more than 90 km/h outside urban areas), vehicles can be confiscated immediately by the Austrian police on site and then auctioned off in the further course of the proceedings for excessive speeding.

If, in addition to a clearly excessive speed, there is also a relevant previous conviction, such as participation in illegal car races, confiscation and expropriation of the vehicle is possible even for "minor offences" of "only" 60 km/h in urban areas and 70 km/h outside urban areas.

Even in the case of vehicles from leasing, service or rental contracts in which the driver is not the owner of the vehicle, these can be arrested on the spot for a provisional period of a maximum of 14 days (without subsequent auction). In this case, the driver is banned from driving the vehicle in question for life, which is also recorded on the driving licence or driving licence register.

New penalties apply to all drivers, including those from Germany

These new measures against speeders naturally also apply to all foreign drivers on the roads of Austria and significantly increase the penalties for speeding introduced in 2021 with the so-called "speeding package": in extreme cases, fines of up to 5,000 euros and fines of at least 150 euros for speeding at 30 km/h or more will be imposed.

Increase in fines for speeding drivers

Since March 2024, fines of up to €7,500 (previously €5,000) can be imposed for speeding offences of more than 60 km/h in urban areas and more than 70 km/h outside urban areas. As a rule, the maximum amount of 7,500 euros only applies to serious cases such as illegal car racing or recidivist repeat offenders.

In the event of a police speed check and offences against the speed limit, it is best to pay immediately. Fines of 25 euros or more can also be enforced in Germany with a limitation period of 3 years.

Longer withdrawal of driving licence possible

Since 2021, driving licences can be retained for a minimum period of four weeks if the speed limit is exceeded (more than 40 km/h in urban areas and more than 50 km/h outside urban areas). For German drivers, this generally only affects the driving licence in Austria, but not in Germany.

New criminal offence of "illegal racing“

In 2021, Austria introduced the new criminal offence of "illegal racing": Participants found to have taken part in such races will face the withdrawal of their driving licence for at least six months and the confiscation of their vehicle. Traffic psychological examinations (MPU) will then be mandatory in order to regain a driving licence.

Legal situation of "illegal car racing" in Germany

In Germany, participants in illegal car races are also threatened with confiscation of the vehicle (regardless of whether the driver owns it or not), which incidentally also applies to so-called lone racers if they fulfil the offence of "racing against themselves". In the event of confiscation, the vehicle becomes the property of the state in Germany and is usually sold at public auction at a later date.

Picture credits : Headerbild: @ Joe Lorenz Design / & Police car @ benjaminnolte/ & Policeman @ Spitzi-foto/