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This article will explore unique German laws that you may not have heard of before.
Germany is known for a lot of things, this country is filled with history, culture, and plenty of outright strange thinking. This has led to plenty of laws that you may now understand why they exist.
Some of these German laws are weird, some are strange, and others are just outright interesting. These weird German laws may be different than what you’re used to reading about in the U.S., but they show how diverse Germany is as a country!
We’ll go over 5 unique German law topics below. What ones will you know?
Unique German Laws
1. The “Keep Off The Grass” Law (Section 36a)
You might get in trouble for walking on grass if this German law is enforced.
Are you allowed to walk on the grass anywhere?
Not exactly, according to German law Section 36a. This unique German law is informally known as the “Keep Off the Grass” law, and it restricts walking on grass in certain areas. In these areas, you must walk on the road instead of on the grass because otherwise, you’re not being a good citizen.
In some German cities such as Bonn, Cologne, Aachen, Heidelberg, Mannheim, Pforzheim, Ulm, Zweibrücken and Offenbach am Main it is against German law to walk on the grass in certain areas.
German law states that you cannot enter another person’s property without their explicit permission. If you do not get this person’s permission, then you’re trespassing.
While these German restrictions do not apply to public roadways, it does extend out a certain distance from the actual road. Walking on this grass is seen as trespassing.
2. The “No Cutting Corners” Law (Section 18)
In Germany, there’s a weird law that prevents people from cutting corners when driving. Are you allowed to cut corners in Germany? Yes and no!
Cutting around another car is actually illegal according to German law Section 18. If you’re caught doing it, the German police may ticket you.
This German law states that if someone is following a vehicle and wants to overtake that vehicle, then the following vehicle must slow down and allow this overtaking to happen.
If they don’t do it, or if they’re in a special lane where overtaking isn’t allowed, then the police may ticket them.
3. The “Frogs In Hot Water” Law (Section 54a)
This German Supreme Court decision turned into German law. While unique laws and court decisions do not always turn into unique German law (see: The “Adultery” Law below), this Supreme Court case did.
The German Supreme Court ruled that a couple’s right to privacy was more important than the owner of the hot spring/spa’s right to privacy. The Supreme Court stated that a unique German spa owner cannot prohibit couples from using their facilities together if the couple is alone.
The ruling was made because there were no written rules that said: “no unique couples allowed.” The court decision turned into a unique law, and it now states that you can’t discriminate against couples when it comes to using German spas.
4. The “Reasonable Fear For Life Or Bodily Harm” Defense (Section 113b)
German Section 113b allows special individuals to use deadly force if they have a good reason to believe that they will lose their lives or be badly injured. This is because only certain individuals may defend themselves with lethal violence if they have a genuine fear of being murdered or seriously harmed.
The special German law does not apply only to people who are citizens of Germany, as long as they were lawfully on the premises.
This unique German legislation applies not just to self-defense, but also to the protection from harm for one’s family or another person.
5. The “Running Of Traffic Lights” Law (Section 35)
One interesting German traffic law puts a unique spin on how you should treat traffic lights when they’re either not working properly or when a light is not switched on.
According to German unique legislation, a unique crosswalk that is either broken or not illuminated is now classified as a unique four-way stop. This means, for example, if you’re at an intersection with a defective unusual traffic light, cars should consider it to be like there was a distinctive stop sign in the center of the intersection.
All intersections, such as those that only have a red light, are covered by this one-of-a-kind German regulation. The interesting German Traffic Law Section 35 makes clear the importance of common decency in Germany.
The weird laws in Germany can be a bit strange and baffling, but they’re also fascinating. These German laws we’ve discussed here are just the tip of the iceberg—there are many more you might not know about!
You may find some of these weird or strange German laws so interesting that your next trip to Berlin will include an unusual stop at a certain courthouse.