Transport Minister Scheuer wants to use a formal error to implement changes to the content of the catalog of fines decided by the Federal Council. In contrast, the federal states’ transport ministries led by the Greens are now announcing an initiative.

It is a further chapter in the dispute over the stricter catalog of fines for traffic offenders originally decided by the Federal Council: The transport departments in Baden-Wurttemberg, Berlin, Bremen, Hamburg and Hesse, led by the Greens, announced that they would not respond to a Federal Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer (CSU) to want to accept the required mitigation of the more stringent regulations.

Higher sentences were a done deal

The background to this is the changes to the road traffic regulations and the catalog of fines decided by the Federal Council, which include a one-month driving ban even if the speed limit is significantly lower than before.

In view of a legal formal error in the amendment, the new regulations are currently partially suspended – instead, the old, milder regulations apply again.

Correct formal errors or mitigate penalties?

The Federal Council could eliminate the formal error at the next plenary session of the Federal Council on September 18, the Greens have now proposed. But Scheuer wants to enforce changes in the content: He had asked not only to correct the formal error, but also to soften the tougher penalties for drivers.

The Greens want to prevent that: The Greens transport ministers of the federal states want to first submit an application to the Federal Council’s Transport Committee at the beginning of September, according to which the tightening that has already been agreed should be maintained.

Only the formal error should be corrected, said Baden-Wurttemberg’s Transport Minister Winfried Hermann (Greens). "We want what has already been decided by a large majority in the Federal Council to be restored in a legally compliant manner," he emphasized. The fact that Scheuer used the legal error to make corrections to the content was "unbeatable in audacity". The reforms are primarily about the safety of pedestrians, children and the elderly.

No Federal Council majority without the Greens

In order to find a solution, Scheuer had announced a consultation with the traffic and interior departments of the federal states. But there is still no date for them. This will happen shortly, said a ministry spokesman. Exchange takes place continuously. The goal remains to find a legally secure solution.

Hermann signaled willingness to talk in the event that the Greens initiative did not get a majority in the Federal Council. He emphasized that the Greens were involved in eleven state governments, so without the Greens there would be no majority in the Federal Council. If neither the Greens proposal nor a proposal from Scheuer should find a majority, then one would have to "sit down again".