Living in Austria For Members

Cycling in Austria: 7 rules you can be fined for breaking

Hayley Maguire
Hayley Maguire - [email protected] • 23 Jan, 2023 Updated Mon 23 Jan 2023 12:49 CEST
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Cyclists in Austria can be fined for not following the rules of the road. (Photo by Pavel Danilyuk)

The rules of the roads aren’t just for motorists – they apply to cyclists too. To avoid being fined by the police, here’s what you need to know about cycling in Austria.

Cycling is a great way to get around in Austria as it’s environmentally friendly, cheap and healthy. But it’s not without risks, especially when it comes to breaking the rules.

This is because cyclists are subject to the Road Traffic Act and so have to obey road signs, drink driving laws and have the right equipment.

FOR MEMBERS: What you need to know about cycling in Austria

Failure to do so – either by mistake or on purpose – can result in a financial penalty. So here are the main rules to follow when cycling in Austria and how much you can be fined if you break them.

Disclaimer: the details below refer to the Organmandat (an on-the-spot fine). The amount can vary across the different Austrian states, so in most cases the minimum fine has been referenced.

Drink-cycling – €800 to €5,900 fine

Just like with driving, cycling while under the influence of alcohol is not allowed in Austria. So if you are caught over the limit, you will be fined.

In fact, cyclists are only allowed up to 0.4mg of alcohol per litre of breath. If a breathalyser detects more alcohol in your system, you will be fined based on how much you have consumed.

  • From 0.4mg: €800 to €3,700 fine
  • From 0.6mg: €1,200 to €4,400
  • From 0.8mg: €1,600 to €5,900 
  • Refusal to test: €1,600 to €5,900

As well as a fine, cyclists can end up losing a driving licence if caught cycling while drunk. According to the federal government, this is because "riding a bicycle while intoxicated can be an indication of a lack of traffic reliability". Because of that, authorities may determine that you are no fit to drive and, therefore, revoke your drier's licence. 

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Failure to stop – €50 to €70

Cyclists have to obey traffic lights when riding on the roads in Austria and the fine for going through a red light is at least €70. But it can go up to €726, depending on the situation.

The same applies to ‘STOP’ signs. The fine for failing to stop (as a cyclist) is at least €50, but it can be between €70 and €726.

However, turning right at a red light as a cyclist is now allowed in Austria and will not result in a fine – as long as it does not endanger road safety. 

Not having the right equipment – €20

According to the Bicycle Ordinance in Austria, a cyclist is required by law to have certain equipment, like lights (for cycling in the dark), functioning brakes and reflectors. 

You can be fined €20 for each missing piece of equipment and it’s not unknown in cities like Vienna to be chased down by the police for failing to have lights on at night.

READ NEXT: How to exchange your foreign driving licence for an Austrian one

Cycling on the pavement - €30

In Austria, cyclists are supposed to stay on the road, unless on a designated cycle path. So if you are caught cycling on the pavement, you can expect to pay a €30 fine. 

But if you also endanger pedestrians by cycling on a pavement, then the fine is €50.

Wrong way down a one-way street – €50

One-way street rules apply to all road users, including cyclists. As a result, it will cost you €50 if caught cycling the wrong way down a one-way street.

Cycling in a pedestrian zone – €30

A pedestrian zone is exactly that – an area for people to walk, which means bikes are not allowed. If you are caught cycling in a pedestrian zone in Austria you can expect to pay a fine of at least €30, but it can go up to €70.

Using a phone while cycling – €50

Speaking on the phone while cycling in Austria is only allowed with a hands-free device. The fine for not following this rule is €50. 

Similarly, taking both hands off the handlebars (for any reason) is also forbidden and you can be fined €30 if caught by the police.

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Hayley Maguire 2023/01/23 12:49

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