Today in Austria For Members

Today in Austria: A roundup of the latest news on Friday

Amanda Previdelli
Amanda Previdelli - [email protected]
Today in Austria: A roundup of the latest news on Friday
(Photo by Damien MEYER / AFP)

Fines for driving infractions increase to €100, Vienna police to reduce security measures following terror threat, Centre-right and far-right on the verge of a coalition in Lower Austria and more news from Austria on Friday.


  • Fines for driving infractions double to €100

Fines for violations such as using a cell phone while driving or not wearing seatbelts and helmets when required have increased. 

Drivers caught using their cellphones will have to pay €100 instead of the current €50, broadcaster ORF reported. However, in case they can't pay at the moment or are found using their cell phone while officers check for speeders, the fine goes up to €140.

It will also be more expensive to disregard the obligation to wear a seat belt and crash helmet. The penalties will be increased from €35 to €50. The National Council's Transport Committee also spoke out in favour of an information campaign to raise awareness among drivers.

Transport Minister Leonore Gewessler (Greens) sees increased road safety through the measures, and liberal party NEOS agreed to the package. However, criticism of the increase in penalties came from centre-left SPÖ and far-right FPÖ, ORF added.

READ ALSO: Austrian citizenship: Can you be rejected because of a driving offence?


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  • Vienna police to reduce security measures

Vienna police announced they would gradually reduce their enhanced security measures after the most recent assessment by their intelligence services. On Wednesday, police said they were bringing more officers, including security forces after intelligence found signs of a possible terror attack planned in the Austrian capital. 

They later confirmed that primarily Syrian Christian communities and institutions were threatened and kept surveillance in specific spots with uniformed police forces visible in public space, consisting of district forces and special operation forces WEGA and EKO Cobra.

READ ALSO: Vienna police increase surveillance after 'information on possible terror attack'

  • Centre-right and far-right on the verge of a coalition in Lower Austria

The Austrian People's Party (ÖVP) and the far-right Freedom Party (FPÖ) are on the verge of agreeing on a work program for governing Lower Austria, they said via press releases. 

The party leaders Johanna Mikl-Leitner (ÖVP) and Udo Landbauer (FPÖ) want to inform about the contents of a governing programme in the afternoon of Friday.

"In the struggle for solutions, we have agreed on measures that will bring Lower Austria forward," Mikl-Leitner announced overnight via a press release. "Negotiations with the ÖVP are over," Landbauer said via a dispatch. They had agreed on an "ambitious work program".

One of the main discrepancies between both parties was the FPÖ announcement that it would not reelect Mikl-Leitner. However,  Landbauer had recently said that if they reached agreements in other areas, the FPÖ would not "prevent an election of the state governor".

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