Temporary authorisations (orders, permits)
The Berlin Traffic Management is the competent authority for granting temporary authorisations e. g. for construction sites or for events. For more information on the single procedures please see category Services / Permits.
Film shootings in the city
The traffic information service often indicates that film shootings in the city will lead to temporary road closures. What is good news for Berlin as a film city doesn’t seem to be good news for the residents. So it is one of the difficult tasks of the Berlin Traffic Control to satisfy the interests of the film-makers as well as those of the traffic participants.
A film-shooting means a lot of work. Before the shootings within the public space may start, the film-makers have to apply for a permit at the Berlin Traffic Control. If the location of the shooting affects public traffic, and road closures will be required, an individual special regulation will be worked out in coordination with the police (formal hearing). Further details regarding the location of the film shooting, time and duration as well as the need for full or partial road or pavement closures are the prerequisites for the traffic control to order the possibly required road or pavement closures. Additionally, the borough office for civil engineering, which in its function as owner of the public road area, will be involved for the granting of a special permit according to the “Berliner Straßengesetz” (Berlin law on public roads).
But it’s not only the film shooting on the streets that causes traffic restrictions. Stopping restrictions have to be used while shooting films in buildings or in non-public areas, where it is required to park the vehicles that transport the technical equipment of the company in the immediate vicinity of the film shooting location. Anyone who has ever observed a film shooting knows the dimension of such convoys of transport vehicles. In 2006, for example, the Berlin Traffic Control had to deal with 4.166 transactions – from the general film shooting permit to the annual decision on the installation of stopping restrictions up to the use of trailers and flashing blue light while driving.
The appeal of Berlin’s cultural landscape and its metropolitan charm are almost unimaginable without the inspirations provided by numerous events.
In view of the plenty of offered events it can be easily overlooked how difficult it is for all involved parties to launch such initiatives. Major events as for example the Football World Championship 2006 were an enormous challenge which the Berlin Traffic Control had to meet.
Especially important is the observance of special formalities. But nobody should be put off by such procedures which at first sight seem to be difficult.
Numerous and significant events take place particularly within the central area of our city, requiring areas that are declared as public traffic areas. For that reason a permit is required from the road traffic authority according to § 29 paragraph 2 of the Road Traffic Regulations.
This is the case when the road traffic will be restricted due to the number or behaviour of the traffic participants or the manner of driving of the participating vehicles.
The organiser has to ensure that the road traffic regulations and possible conditions and requirements are followed.
In construction areas a fixed traffic signal sometimes has to be substituted by a mobile one. The mobile masts ensure that the signals always have high visibility for the car drivers. They also allow an adaptation to the construction progress.
If in the course of roadworks only one lane can be used, the car drivers have to take turns in using the driving directions. This cooperation is ruled by mobile two-way traffic systems. These will enable the thoroughfare after the vehicles coming from the opposite direction have left the bottleneck, even though not the last vehicle is being counted. The traffic signal calculates an expected maximum driving time from the length of way and the velocity. You’re not allowed to go ahead until this time has expired.
Construction sites within the public road area are no rarity in Berlin. The traffic user directly feels the effects caused by closures and restrictions. But there are various reasons for construction:
- roads have to be safe for traffic and must be maintained in good conditions,
- development of road infrastructures,
- work on gas, water, and waste water pipes as well as on electricity lines,
- restructuring or new construction of tram and underground,
- construction of buildings.
In addition to the required special permit according to the “Berliner Straßengesetz” (Berlin law on public roads) §§ 11 and 12, a traffic regulation order is required for the site installation within the public road area in accordance with § 45 of the StVO.
The special permit is granted by the competent bodies for construction and maintenance. The Traffic Management is responsible for the traffic regulation order for the main road network in cooperation with the police and the competent body for construction and maintenance. For all other roads the respective road traffic authority of the boroughs is responsible for the regulations.
On a case-by-case basis the regulations control:
- how the construction site has to be closed off and marked,
- if and how closed roads and detours have to be marked, and
- if and how traffic has to be controlled.
- signpost plans,
- detour plans – when indicated – and
- potential plans for light-signal systems.
It pays attention to:
- the real local conditions,
- the required space available for the construction procedure and the transport, and
- different construction phases.
The main contractor has to present all required information for the granting of the permit to the Traffic Management in good time before the beginning of the construction measure. For more information please see category Services / Permits.
Heavy goods vehicle transport
Abnormal and heavy load transports are widespread even in the cityscape of Berlin. Heavy load transports are vehicles or their loadings which exceed the statutory measurements and weights.
In accordance with § 29 paragraph 3 and/or § 46 paragraph 1 no. 5 of the Road Traffic Regulations a permit and/or certificate of exemption is required for the transport by vehicles and trailers exceeding the statutory allowed limits in terms of loadings or dimensions, axle load or total weight.
A considerable part of the carriage of freight or delivery vehicles with so-called “indivisible load” (no parcels) is managed by means of roads, tunnels and bridges.
Responsible authority for granting permits or certificates of exemption is the authority within whose area the transport starts, or where the company has its registered office. The processing of the applications will usually require two weeks, but in case of static recalculations of bridge constructions, complex hearing procedures and requests of other federal states the processing times are likely to be longer.
The granted permits often go beyond the federal state of Berlin. Partly they will be also be granted on a national basis.
Foreign companies have to submit their applications for heavy load transports to the local administration authority responsible for the border crossing.
The application for abnormal load or heavy goods transport requires the application form according to the “guidelines for the application and approval procedure regarding the operation of abnormal loads or heavy goods transports (RGST 1992)” – source VkBL. (German Transport Gazette). For more information please see category Services / Permits.
Rail replacement services
The implementation of rail replacement services often requires some changes in transport, which have to be ruled and ordered by the Road Traffic Regulations (StVO). That means additional stops are placed, stopping restrictions are required, and the existing regulations have to be adapted to the new conditions. The traffic regulation orders are made by the VLB according to § 45 of the Road Traffic Regulations.
Safety and security measures (stopping restrictions)
From the point of view of the police plannable gatherings, demonstrations and manifestations as well as important national policy events and state visits often require to guarantee the public security and public order, and therefore road traffic measures from stopping restrictions up to temporary full closures have to be decided on by the Berlin Traffic Control.
By means of detailed information and respective signpost planning the police president therefore asks the Berlin Traffic Control for a traffic regulation order in accordance with the Road Traffic Regulations that has to be addressed to the competent body for construction and maintenance of the borough.
Additionally, in individual cases e. g. on the occasion of in-house events with considerable impacts on the public road area, security measures are considered by the traffic services of the police, which basically will be ordered after the coordination with the Berlin Traffic Control or the borough road traffic authorities.
Some examples for such events are fairs as the International Green Week taking place in exhibition halls, matches of the German Football League in the Olympic stadium, and extraordinary traffic controls on the federal motorways.
Certificates of exemption
According to § 46 of the StVO (Road Traffic Regulations) the road traffic authorities can grant certificates of exemption on request for a lot of interdictions of the Road Traffic Regulations.
However, such certificates of exemption are granted by the traffic control exclusively
- in connection with film shooting activities,
- for driving, stopping or parking on the reserved bus lanes, also called special bus lanes,
- in connection with the towing of vehicles in the area of the federal motorways, or
- in reference to stopping and parking prohibitions according to § 12 Road Traffic Regulations (unless ruled otherwise by respective signposts), and
- in reference to the use of blue and yellow flash light in connection with the siren – when indicated.
All other certificates of exemption – and therewith the considerably bigger part – will be operated by the road traffic authorities of the boroughs.