How do red light traffic cameras work

Rules and rights at the traffic light

Traffic lights have been regulating traffic for over 100 years. Road users have been violating their order for almost as long. We have compiled some questions and answers about red, yellow or green.

Penalties for crossing a red light




Driving ban

Run over traffic lights without endangering anyone else

90 euros



- in the event of danger

200 euros



- The red light phase has lasted longer than a second

200 euros



- in the event of danger

320 euros



You can find more information on the subject of "red light infringement" here.

Red light monitoring - how is flashing?

Surveillance cameras flash twice at red lights: once to prove when they areStop line(It does not depend on the location of the traffic lights) and a second time to prove that the intersection has been entered. Anyone who does not enter the intersection, but stops immediately after crossing the stop line or pushes back, does not violate the red light. However, he can be prosecuted for crossing the stop line.

Estimation of the red light time by a police officer?

The mere emotional estimate of the red light time by an observing police officer is not sufficient to determine a qualified red light violation. Something different only applies if the red phase has lasted for a very long time or a targeted red light monitoring, for example with a calibrated stop watch, has taken place.

Do you want to go quickly through the traffic lights when you see yellow?

No. If the light is yellow, you have to wait for the next sign before the intersection. The approaching driver, who can stop in front of the traffic lights with moderate braking without endangering others, must bring his vehicle to a stop. A yellow light violation can be punished with a fine of 10 €.

Anyone who trusts that the vehicle in front will continue driving on yellow and then drive up is fully liable. Before braking, the person in front does not have to make sure that the person behind can brake in good time. Maintaining a sufficient safety distance is the responsibility of the man behind. Something different only applies if the vehicle in front brakes so abruptly that it only comes to a stop in the area of ​​the intersection.

How long does the yellow phase last?

The yellow phase is not always the same length. The duration of the yellow phase depends on the maximum permissible speed and is regulated in the administrative regulations for the road traffic regulations. As a rule, the following yellow phases then apply:

Speed ​​limit

Yellow phase

at 50 km / h

3 seconds

at 60 km / h

4 seconds

at 70 km / h

5 seconds

over 70 km / h

Traffic lights should not be set up

How do I behave with permanent red?

In the case of defective traffic lights (Permanent red) the extreme principle of mistrust applies. You must first wait a reasonable amount of time until it can be clearly foreseen that it is not a particularly long red phase, but really a defect. Before you then drive into the intersection, you should communicate with other participants by means of clear hand signals. It is with "Permanent green"of cross traffic to be expected. The appropriateness of the waiting time depends on the circumstances of the individual case.

Run over red traffic lights with blue light and siren?

Blue light and siren oblige other road users to clear the way. This obligation takes precedence over the other regulations. If it is not possible to clear the way by approaching the roadside, the stop line may be crossed. Driving over must be done very carefully, however, in order to avoid endangering yourself and others through and for cross-traffic.

"Stop here if it is red" - does the person turning right in front of the traffic lights have to stop at the stop line?

If a street joins from the right immediately before a traffic light, two stop lines are often made, the first before the traffic light and the second before the confluence.

If the additional sign "stop here when red" is placed on the second stop line, there is a red light violation if the second stop line is crossed when red light is present. Turning right is also not allowed.

If there is no stop line, the additional sign is to be seen as a mere recommendation and there is no risk of a fine if you drive past. In the event of an accident, however, joint liability must be expected.

What does the green arrow on a traffic light mean?

The green arrow on a metal sign allows you to turn right despite the red traffic light. Attention must be paid to cross traffic, pedestrians and cyclists - there are increased duties of consideration. It must first be stopped at the stop line. Otherwise there is a risk of a fine of 70 € and a point in Flensburg. After the stop, you may only turn from the right-hand lane and only if the traffic situation permits. Other road users must not be endangered or hindered.

Horn at a green light - is that allowed?

The horn must not be honored if a vehicle in front stops despite the green traffic light. Otherwise there is a risk of a fine of 10 €. Green does not oblige you to continue driving, it only allows you to do so. However, anyone who stops the traffic for no reason can also be fined a fine.

What does "hostile green" mean?

This is a malfunction of the traffic light system. It shows green for each direction of travel and thus clears traffic. Since everyone assumes they have the right of way, dangerous accidents can occur. The operator of the traffic light system is generally responsible and therefore liable.

Which traffic lights apply to cyclists on cycle paths?

For cyclists, either the traffic lights for vehicle traffic or - if available - their own ("Cycle traffic" symbol) or combined traffic lights ("Cycle traffic" and "Pedestrian" symbols) apply to traffic lights with cycle traffic guides. Therefore, a cyclist does not have to orientate himself by the traffic light for pedestrians.

Policeman regulates traffic at a traffic light intersection - what should I do?

The signs and instructions from the police take precedence over the traffic lights. The duties of care (e.g. priority for oncoming traffic when turning left or priority for pedestrians when turning) must nevertheless be observed. This also applies if the traffic light is switched off or flashing yellow. The police can give instructions by waving their hand, shouting, waving, whistling or a police bell.

The driving school slogan "If you see your chest or back, you have to hit the brakes" applies to signs:

Corresponds to the red of the traffic light = "Stop before the intersection." Cross traffic is enabled. The regulation applies as long as the basic position is maintained or the police officer waves in the same direction.

  1. Corresponds to the yellow of the traffic light = "Wait for the next sign in front of the intersection." Vehicles must vacate the intersection.

  2. Corresponds to the green of the traffic light = "The traffic is released."

What applies to a switched off pedestrian traffic light?

Activated traffic lights take precedence over the general rules of right of way and traffic signs that regulate priority. This does not apply if the traffic light is switched off.

Yellow flashing light by itself does not have any priority-regulating character, but only warns of dangers. If the traffic light is switched off or if it flashes yellow, what is decisive for pedestrians is the way in which the crossing is marked on the lane:

  • Is it a pedestrian ford, d. H. an area marked by broken lines across the road, flowing traffic has priority. The same applies if there is no marking at all.

  • If, on the other hand, the crossing is marked by a zebra crossing (sign 293 StVO), priority is given to pedestrians who want to cross the lane in a recognizable way. This applies regardless of whether the traffic sign 350 (pedestrian crossing) indicates the marking on the lane.


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