Tractors are essential vehicles in the agricultural industry, and they often need to operate on public roads. To ensure safety and compliance with traffic regulations, there are specific rules and regulations regarding the use of warning lights, such as Rundumleuchten, on tractors. In this article, we will explore the regulations surrounding Rundumleuchten and provide answers to some commonly asked questions.
When can the yellow Rundumleuchte be activated?
According to § 52 Absatz 4 of the Straßenverkehrs-Zulassungs-Ordnung (StVZO), tractors and other agricultural vehicles are only allowed to be equipped with a yellow Rundumleuchte if they have unusual width, length, or load. This means that as long as the agricultural vehicles comply with the legal requirements, the use of Rundumleuchten is not permitted. For example, a tractor towing a cultivator with a width of up to three meters should not have a Rundumleuchte attached. In such cases, it is advisable to have a detachable Rundumleuchte.
Is a permit required for the use of Rundumleuchten?
Yes, if the dimensions of the vehicle exceed the legal limits for width and length, an exemption permit is required to operate on public roads. The competent road traffic authority can grant this permit, and it often includes the condition of using a yellow Rundumleuchte. Only after obtaining the permit can the Rundumleuchte be used. For instance, a combine harvester wider than three meters would require front and rear yellow Rundumkennleuchten.
Can any yellow Rundumkennleuchte be used?
No, the Rundumleuchte must comply with the regulations specified in § 22a Absatz 1 of the StVZO and be of an officially approved design. This includes all lights that meet the European Directive ECE-R65. The E1 mark on the type plate indicates that the warning light meets the directive's requirements and can be used in public road traffic in Germany.
What should be considered when permanently installing the Rundumleuchte on the tractor?
If the Rundumleuchte is to be permanently installed on the tractor and remain attached even during normal operations without exceeding the vehicle's width, an exemption permit according to § 70 StVZO must be obtained from the road traffic authority. As the fixed Rundumleuchte usually changes the vehicle's height, there is also an obligation to notify the competent authority about the increased vehicle dimensions according to § 13 of the Fahrzeug-Zulassungs-Ordnung (FZV). The authority will then record the new vehicle height in the Zulassungsbescheinigung Teil I (vehicle registration certificate).
Can the Rundumleuchte be used for other purposes?
In addition to the aforementioned regulations, the yellow flashing light is only allowed to be used according to § 38 Absatz 3 of the Straßenverkehrs-Ordnung (StVO) to warn of work or accident sites or to indicate unusually slow-moving vehicles. Therefore, it is important to carefully consider whether the Rundumleuchte should be activated, and it requires a certain level of discretion. Using the Rundumleuchte to secure a hazardous area or when turning into a field road with attached implements can contribute to traffic safety. However, it is essential to avoid misuse of the Rundumleuchte and not turn the tractor into a "disco ball on wheels."
What are the consequences of using the Rundumleuchte without permission?
Failure to comply with the regulations and using the Rundumleuchte without the necessary permit constitutes an administrative offense. The police can impose a corresponding fine. However, it is rare for the police to stop farmers or contractors solely for improper use of the Rundumleuchte. Instead, they focus on other issues, and a defective lighting system cannot be compensated for by using a Rundumleuchte.
In conclusion, the use of Rundumleuchten on tractors is subject to specific regulations to ensure safety and compliance with traffic laws. Tractors should only be equipped with Rundumleuchten if they have unusual width, length, or load. Permits may be required for vehicles that exceed the legal limits, and only approved Rundumleuchten should be used. It is important to use the Rundumleuchte responsibly and avoid misuse. Failure to comply with the regulations may result in fines.