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How well do you know the Luxembourg Highway Code?



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 ING Luxembourg

Except for speeding penalties and parking[1], many Luxembourg roads’ rules are the same as those applied in Belgium, France, Germany and the Netherlands. But what are they exactly? Here are some things you must absolutely know about the Luxembourg Highway Code.

Wear your seatbelt before starting

Rule number one: you may not start your car until all the bells are fastened.  Wearing a seatbelt is compulsory for every person whose seat is equipped with one, both in the front and the back, regardless of the distance to be covered, even for a journey of 200 metres! Only persons who have a medical contraindication and an authorization issued by the Ministry of Mobility and Public Works are exempt from wearing a seatbelt.

Children under 3 years of age must be fastened in a child seat approved to an authorized standard and adapted to their size and weight. Children aged 3 to 18 years, who are under 1.50 metres and weigh more than 36 kg, may be transported in the rear of the car without being in a child seat. However, they must wear the seatbelt or, when appropriate, the sub-abdominal part of the belt.

If you and any passenger are caught failing to wear a seatbelt or if your children are not correctly fitted in a special restraint system, you may be fined EUR 145 and lose 2 points on your licence[1]. The same penalty applies to motorcyclists who fail to wear a helmet.

 

Avoid distractions and alcohol while driving

Rule number two: you cannot use a mobile phone or a tablet while driving without equipment adapted and securely fixed in the vehicle. In the event of a breach, the penalty is the same as not wearing a seatbelt: EUR 145 and two points less on your driving licence. 

Rule number three: drinking and driving are strictly prohibited. The law punishes any driver who shows clear signs of alcohol influence (staggering gait, spluttering, alcoholic breath, etc.). In the absence of these signs, the legal blood alcohol level is set at 0.5%. It represents around two standard drinks (250 ml for beer, 125 ml for wine and 30 ml for spirits). For specific categories such as professional drivers and drivers in the training period, the rate is reduced to 0.2%.

Penalties can be very severe, especially if you have had too much to drink. These range from EUR 145 fine and two points removed if your blood alcohol level is 0.5% or more until EUR 500 to 10,000 fine, 6 days to 3 years in prison and immediate withdrawal of the driving licence if your blood alcohol level is 1.2% or more.

Respect the zipper system and the emergency corridor

Rule number 4: you must respect the zipper system and the emergency corridor. The zipper system’s principle applies on a highway when one lane is being closed. Each driver in the lane that remains open must give way alternately to a driver who changes lanes. If you don’t comply with this rule, you are punishable by a fine of EUR 74. Forming a corridor to allow emergency vehicles to pass in case of an accident is a legal requirement in the Grand Duchy. On a two-lane motorway, this means that vehicles in the left lane move as much as possible to the left and those in the right lane as much as possible to the right, including on the hard shoulder. Failure to comply can result in a fine of EUR 145 as well as a two-point deduction from your driving licence. Off motorways, the penalty is EUR 74.

 

Have the right equipment

Rule number 5: your vehicle must be properly equipped. In addition to essential documents such as your valid driving licence, vehicle registration document, proof of vehicle roadworthiness and insurance certificate, a warning triangle and at least a reflective vest are part of the compulsory equipment.

In winter conditions (black ice, packed snow, melting snow, ice sheets or frost), driving a motor vehicle on public roads is only permitted with winter or all-weather tyres, marked “M.S.”, “M+S”, “M&S” or the pine symbol. This regulation applies to all drivers, regardless of the country in which their vehicle is registered. If you haven't changed your tyres yet, hurry up and change them. If the police find out that your vehicle does not have the right equipment, you risk a fine of EUR 74!

For more information about the Luxembourg Highway Code, you can consult the portal site of the Ministry of Mobility and Public Works (only in French). You can also buy online a lighter version of the Highway Code, in the form of the Popular Highway Code, published by La Sécurité Routière asbl (only in French and German).

Are you an expatriate or a newcomer in the Grand Duchy? Visit our website.

[1] Read our article ‘What are the speeding penalties in Luxembourg?” and “Some facts about parking”.

[2] Read our article “What you need to know about driving licence in Luxembourg” for more information on the penalty points system.