Safety distance

Driving behind each other

Whatever speed you are travelling at, you must always keep sufficient distance between yourself and the vehicle in front of you. This distance should be such that you can stop if the vehicle in front of you brakes suddenly.


If you fail to keep a sufficient distance, and if you are caught very close to the car in front (defined as a gap of between 0.2 and 0.4 seconds, which equates to a distance between 7 m and 14 m at 130 km/h), you are liable to receive an recordable offence on your licence under the Demerit Point System, in addition to a fine. If the distance is less than 0.2 seconds (under 7 m at 130 km/h) you will be fined and your licence will be revoked for a minimum of six months.

If drivers of vehicles travelling behind each other have to stop and the line of stopping vehicles extends back to a cross-road, a safety path, a cyclist crossing or a railway track crossing the carriageway, the drivers of further approaching vehicles must stop in such a way that traffic on the above-mentioned traffic areas is not obstructed. 

You must maintain a distance of 20 m from all vehicles that run on rails (such as trams) unless you are overtaking them.

Vehicles that qualify as long vehicles (i.e lorries, traction units, buses, etc.) must maintain a distance of 50 m from any long vehicle ahead of them outside built-up areas.


When overtaking with motor vehicles, the lateral distance to cyclists and scooter riders must be at least 1.5 m in the build-up-area and at least 2 m outside build-up areas.


If the speed of the overtaking motor vehicle does not exceed 30 km/h, the lateral distance to cyclists and scooter riders can be reduced in accordance with road safety.

Passing by

Passing vehicles is only permitted if other road users – especially oncoming road users – are neither endangered nor obstructed and a safe distance appropriate to the traffic conditions must be maintained from the vehicle being passed.

Legal basis

Certified Translation
Last update: 21 May 2024

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