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Old 06-05-2008, 12:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
Bearleener
Efficiency freak
 
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Berlin, Germany
Posts: 58

Frugolf - '96 VW Golf wagon
90 day: 40.36 mpg (US)
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Yes, in Germany, per Paragraph 30 of the StVO (Road Traffic Ordinance) it's not allowed to let a vehicle's engine run unnecessarily. This is a part of all driver's education courses. Occasionally someone gets fined 10 Euros. Unnecessary is usually interpreted as "warming up" the car e.g. to defrost the windows before driving off; in traffic jams where traffic has come to a standstill for a longer period; at railroad crossings. People are usually pretty good about it, except for the warming up part. There's even sometimes a sign at railroad crossings with a crossed-out cloud of exhaust gas reminding people to do so.

A Q&A about this (in German):
http://www.fahrtipps.de/frage/bahnsc...eschlossen.php
The ordinance (in German):
http://www.fahrtipps.de/stvo/stvo_30.php
Being Germany, they also specifically prohibit slamming the car doors too loudly or aimlessly cruising around town. And many trucks are not allowed to drive on Sundays. :-)

Since I always shut my engine off at stoplights I can hear what other people are doing. Now that gas prices are so high I can hear more and more often that other people are shutting theirs off, too! Yea!

Just for completeness, for what it's worth, here's a German interpretation of this ordinance:
Leider ist es noch nicht allen bekannt, dass man den Motor bei längerem Halt vor einem geschlossenen Bahnübergang abschalten muss. Das Schild mit dem durchgestrichenen Auspuffqualm steht eigentlich nur zur Erinnerung daran, dass dieses Verhalten durch § 30 StVO vorgeschrieben ist: »Es ist insbesondere verboten, Fahrzeugmotoren unnötig laufen zu lassen...« Das heißt, auch ohne das Schild und in ähnlichen Situationen muss der Motor abgeschaltet werden. Fahrschüler kennen die Fragen zur Energie sparenden Fahrweise, dieses Thema ist unter anderem Bestandteil der theoretischen Führerscheinprüfung. Die Gründe für das Abschalten: Lärmvermeidung, Abgasverringerung, Energieeinsparung.
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You ever notice that birds pulse & glide, too?

Last edited by Bearleener; 06-05-2008 at 12:07 PM.. Reason: Added links
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