A bang in the courtroom: The OLG in Karlsruhe has prohibited the use of a standard function in Tesla’s electric cars. Tesla drivers are now threatened with points in Flensburg and even losing their driving license. GIGA explains the background.
Touchscreen control on the Tesla: Loss of driving license and points threatened
It’s raining. In the cockpit of his Tesla, a driver wants to adapt the wiper interval to the weather, so he navigates to a submenu. When trying to adjust the setting, he got off the road in his electric car and had an accident on a tree. At the district court in Karlsruhe, the driver was fined 200 euros and was banned from driving for a month. The higher regional court has now upheld the judgment.
Specifically, this means: the touchscreen, which replaces classic controls and buttons in the Tesla cockpit, is considered an electronic device by the court as defined in Section 23 of the Road Traffic Act. Among other things, it states that devices such as cell phones and touch-sensitive screens can only be used if you do not hold them in your hand and only look at them briefly. Longer interactions are not allowed. However, this is necessary in order to set the wiper interval – and other vehicle functions – on a Tesla. It doesn’t matter, says the court.
Playing in the Testa – of course an absolute no-go in traffic:
No exception for the Tesla screen
The fact that the touchscreen in Tesla vehicles is the only way to control central functions of the vehicle was apparently irrelevant to the court. The reason: In § 23 of the StVO only “touch screens” are mentioned – without a reference to what they are intended for. This now means that the Tesla screen is equated with smartphones and other electronic devices within the meaning of the law, explains the portal golem.de.
A quick look at the touchscreen in the Tesla and a quick adjustment is also allowed in the sense of the StVO. But anyone who changes settings in submenus while driving is a criminal offense. Tesla itself would have to make corresponding menu items more easily accessible. The successful car manufacturer, who recently started a new leasing program, is not compelled to do so because of the ruling.