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Visiting Austria - Be aware of changes to traffic laws
Obligation in Austria as of 1st January 2012
In case of congestion all vehicles on motorways and dual carriageways have to form the emergency corridor.
What is the emergency corridor?
The emergency corridor is an empty channel between the two lanes of a motorway or dual carriageway, which must be formed in case of congestion so as to allow emergency vehicles to progress speedily.
Who can use the emergency corridor?
The usage of the emergency corridor is reserved for vehicles from the police, fire service, ambulance service, road patrol and breakdown services. This allows emergency vehicles to arrive at the site of an accident up to four minutes earlier than they would be able to by using the breakdown lane, which is non-existent or impassable in some cases. Thus, the chances of survival for accident victims can be increased by 40 per cent.
Which countries have the obligation to form the emergency corridor?
The system of the emergency corridor is also in use in Austria's neighbouring countries such as Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovenia and Switzerland. It has become law in Austria as of 1st January 2012.
How to form the emergency corridor?
To form an emergency corridor, all vehicles in the left-hand lane must drive as far as possible to the left, all vehicles on the right-hand lane must drive as far as possible to the right. Vehicles are also required to use the breakdown lane!
In the case of three or multi-lane motorways all vehicles on the far left-hand lane must drive as far as possible to the left and all others must drive to the right.
Obstruction of emergency vehicles or unlawful usage of the emergency corridor in order to ensure one’s own progress is punishable by a fine of up to 2180 Euros.
Please become familiar with this important traffic rule as many lives may depend on it.