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Warning triangle, warning light, hazard warning flashers, reflective vest

Inside the German Road Traffic Licensing Act/ road traffic regulations (StVZO, §53a) you can find information when to have a warning triangle, a warning light, hazard warning flashers and a reflective vest with you.
There is an extract out of it:

§ 53a  warning triangle, warning light, hazard warning flashers, reflective vest 


(1) Warning triangles and warning lights have to be portable and stable and if you use them they must be visible at a sufficient distance. Warning triangles must be reflective and warning lights must emit yellow flashing light, they have to work independently from the vehicle and must guarantee a sufficient burning time. Reflective vests have to correspond correspond to a certain standard (DIN EN 471:2003+A1:2007). Each of them has to be ready for operation.

(2)  The following warning devices have to be carried at least in all vehicles exceptionally wheelchairs, motorcycles and single-axle tractors and non-road mobile machinery:

  1. A warning triangle: in passenger cars, agricultural and forestry non-road mobile machinery and in other vehicles with a permissable total weight up to 3,5 t. 
  2. A warning triangle and a separated warning light:  in vehicles with a permissable total weight of more than 3,5t. You may also have a portable warning light with you (§ 53b). 
  3. A reflective vest: in passenger cars, lorries/trucks, articulated lorries/ tractor units and in buses/ coaches. 
  4. Vehicles equipped with indicators must have additional hazard warning flashers that must be designed as follows:  
    • an additional separate switch has to be inside the car 
    • after switching the hazard flashers on all the lights must emit a yellow light simultaniously at a frequency of 1,5?Hz ±?0,5?Hz 
    • flashy lights must signal the driver that the hazard warning flashers are switched on
  5. Hazard warning flashers at vehicles not standardized for must correspond to the regulations in paragraph 4.  

In summary

  1. All drivers of any vehicle up to 3,5t must have a warning triangle with them.
  2. warning light must be inside any vehicle with a permissable total weight of more than 3,5t
  3. All drivers of any vehicle must have one reflective vest inside the car. 
    • The police recommend to have at least two reflective vests on board, for the driver and co-driver.  
    • For longer journeys and if you have more passengers inside the car it is better to have one for each of them. But one vest is obligatory.
  4. All vehicles equipped with indicators must have hazard warning flashers

The German police are generally authorized to check if the warning devices 1.-4. are inside the car and if they work correctly. 



Contact us

Address for visitors:
Saxon State Ministry of the Interior
State Police Headquarters
Department 3 - Public Law and Order
Wilhelm-Buck-Straße 2
01097 Dresden

phone +49 351 564-0