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RTL Fact Check: First traffic fine of the year is NOT free

RTL Fact Check: First traffic fine of the year is NOT free - Featured image

Author(s): RTL Lëtzebuerg

© RTL graphic

Despite the common saying, you DO need to pay the first traffic fine of the year.

There are a number of rumours regarding a taxed warning, or fines for parking without a valid ticket. Some people say the first fine of the year is free, others say if you don’t pay the first one, you won’t get a reminder as long as you pay for the next fine. Both these assumptions are wrong.

There is no such thing as a ‘free fine’ in Luxembourg,” say the Grand Ducal police. “They must be paid whether they’re the first in a year or not.”

Once a fine is issued, the person named has 45 days in which to pay it. After the 45 days have elapsed, they will receive a final warning by post. Ignoring this warning will see the value of the fine doubled.

According to article 4 of the Highway Code: “In the absence of payment or dispute, within the time limit set by the registered letter provided for in paragraph 1, line 2, of a taxed warning issued for an offence not resulting in a points reduction, the person financially responsible is informed that they are liable for a fixed fine corresponding to double the amount of the taxed warning, by registered letter.”

If a person fails to pay the fine, or refuses to pay it, this can result in a criminal record. A fine can also become a criminal record in other instances, such as the following:

  • If the person concerned is a minor (under 18);
  • If the fine is linked to bodily harm or death;
  • If the person concerned has not paid the notice within the specified time period;
  • If the person concerned has expressed a refusal to pay the fine, or is not in a position to pay it;
  • If the infraction concerns speeding, in which the speed limit was exceeded by more than 50%, or more than 20 km/h over the speed limit.

These conditions can be found in Article 15 of the Highway Code.

It therefore goes without saying: it does not matter if the fine is the first of the year or not. It does not matter whether one has paid the second and third fine or not. Every single warning accompanied by a fine must be paid.

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Originally published here.