Why I Don't Drive in Germany


As much as I would love to put an Audi on the Autobahn, I usually resist the urge to drive in Europe. And if I did, I would need to have a clearer understanding of signs like these. At first, I had no idea what these meant.

Fortunately, I had a chance to ask my friend Oliver what they meant. If I remember correctly, the top sign with the X means no parking at all in the direction of the arrow. The lower sign with just the single slash, means you can stop there for a moment, but don't wander off. Perfect for dropping off a friend at work.

The bottom line is, when traveling, don't forget to photograph signs. They can be an interesting point of conversation, as well as informative.

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Both signs are standard in Europe, but the arrow is definitely a "dirty hack," unless there is a German exception at play here.

The top-most sign means "no stopping whatsoever" and the bottom sign means "no parking."

The full cross is usually used as a reminder on very busy roads where stopping briefly would lead to a sure accident.

The slash is seen everywhere else, where parking is deemed undesirable or illicit but does not imply an immediate and pressing need to keep the traffic flowing.

As for the arrows, well, they should be below the sign, for a start, in a white pad of their own, and in black to boot. This is probably a case of "oh shoot, we forgot the plaques but there is a shop across the street that sells decals."

Yes, from a North American perspective, the "no parking" and "no stopping" signs are the most confusing ones. When I moved to the Netherlands and began driving here, it came down to basic memorisation, as it wasn't as simple as a P with a line through it.

I love the Autobahn, both the song by Kraftwerk & the roads German highway.

Apart from obvious traffic jams & road constructions it is a place where most drivers are courteous, and you can choose a cruising speed you feel comfortable with (designated places only).

@FJ de Kermadec: the arrows are no dirty hack. How else would you mark a change of zones in the middle of a street. I have also seen the arrows as separate signs under the upper sign.

I always snicker when in Sweden and I see "UTFART" - it means exit (on more than one level I guess).

the arrow showing to the street: area begins
the arrow showing away from the street: area ends

Derrick, like everything else, driving is something one has to learn, and all details are not universal worldwide. It took me some time to get used to Canadian road signs (likely close to the US one), and other things we don't do in Europe, like turning right on red, 4 way stops (not on so busy roads), etc.
The worse being the blinking green light that does not have the same meaning between Vancouver and the rest of Canada.

These signs are part of driving 101. And believe me, parking regulations in Europe are much more sane than whatever I have seen in Montreal, Toronto or Vancouver.

@IllOgical42 in France they add a little white rectangle sign underneath for that kind of information.

Hello you can find all of them and of course more funny signs at http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bildtafel_der_Verkehrszeichen_in_Deutschland and a nice comparision of old an new german roadsigns at http://www.rsa-95.de/VZ-Liste.htm.
Have fun and enjoy