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Emergency corridors in Austria from 1 January 2012

Publication date: 03 January 2012

From 1 January 2012 emergency corridors will be mandatory whenever congestion occurs on Austria’s motorways and dual carriageways.

What is an emergency corridor?
An emergency corridor is a precautionary corridor that motorists are required to form and leave free between individual motorway (highway) or dual carriageway lanes whenever road congestion occurs.

What is the emergency corridor for?
The emergency corridor is for use by the police, fire service and ambulance service as well as the highway services and breakdown assistance. It allows these services to get to the scene of an accident in greater safety and up to four minutes sooner than previously when using the emergency lane or the hard shoulder. That in turn increases the survival chances of accident victims by up to 40 per cent.

What do I have to do?
All road users in the left-hand lane are required to move as far over to the left as possible. Road users in the right-hand lane are required to move as far over to the right as necessary. To do so, motorists are allowed to drive into the emergency lane and/or the hard shoulder. The rule on multi-lane carriageways is that vehicles in the left-hand lane must move over to the left while vehicles in all the other lanes move over to the right.

When does the emergency corridor come into force?
From 1 January 2012 all road users driving cars, motorcycles, lorries, buses or coaches are required to create a precautionary emergency corridor whenever congestion occurs or traffic ceases to progress.

Where do emergency corridors apply?
On all motorways (highways) and dual carriageways in Austria, whether two, three or four lanes: essentially on all roads where a motorway toll sticker is mandatory. It means that the same principle will then apply in Austria as it does in Germany, the Czech Republic, Switzerland and Slovenia.

What else do I need to know?
Obstructing emergency vehicles or illegally driving down an emergency corridor is prohibited and subject to fines of up to EUR 2,180.

For more detailed information, a multi-lingual document is available in English, French, Italian, Slovak, Czech, Slovene and Hungarian here: Emergency Corridors - Austria.pdf (5.6 MB)  or else go to the following website:


Source: ÖAMTC


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