IG-L

So I get asked stuff regarding travel around Europe a lot. The main reason being that before my full time as a tech guy I used to be a music tour manager and travelled Europe a lot. I managed to pick up a few things that I get asked constantly. Thus I decided to expand my blog and add a new category called “travel” to the mix.

Since I live near Austria and I’m there most of my spare time, I often get asked what does IG-L mean on the digital panels on Austria’s highway.
This should not be confused with PKW and LWK warnings.

So what is IG-L? It’s just short for “Immissionsschutzgesetz Luft” (Air Pollution Control Act) and its job is to regulate the unwanted particles (emissions) in the air in Austria.
The theory is quite simple. You use more gas the faster you drive, so your car outputs more emissions. Thus driving slowly can reduce the number of emissions your car lets out into the environment.
So once the emissions are too high in certain areas, you might see a reduced speed warning on those digital panels. Usually, the reduced speed is a drop from 130km/h to 100km/h but sometimes it can go as low as 80km/h.

IG-L Austria
IG-L Austria

Now I’m not sure as to why but there are two completely different theories regarding this notification floating around the internet. And unfortunately, they are both wrong.

The first one states that if you drive 10km/h over the limit the penalty is over 2000€.

And the second is that these are a polite pleading that just asks you to slow down, but you don’t need to.

As stated above both of these online statements are wrong. The penalty for speeding if you disregard this notification is the same as a normal one. They rarely go over 80€ per fine on the highway  (German: Autobahn) (except if you really drive 180km/h in an 80km/h zone, then you simply get 18 points and they take away your licence).

There you go mystery solved :).

Comments

  1. Tina kyng

    Thank you 👍 need to know and nice to know.
    We go on holliday by car through Europe every year and see quite a lot of signs that we don’t understand.

    1. Denis Article Author

      Hi Ed!

      Thank you for your comment and that you dropped by this site.

      Not proud of this, but just got an IG-L ticket for going 11km over the speed limit and it is the same as a normal ticket.

      IGL ticket page 1
      IGL Ticket page 2
      Due to the law, they have to translate it to my native language which is Slovenian, but you can still see the exact point and the km/h difference and the “price” of speeding at 1am 😉

      I still asked around since in Austria it can often happen that different regions have different rules. They have confirmed that the prices are the same in all regions.

      Thank you again for the comment they keep the information like this up-to-date and current so I really appreciate it.

      1. ed

        A bit late (your reaction was delivered in my spam folder)…
        Glad to see that the penalties are the same. When I travelled in Tirol (somewhere between Kufstein and Innsbruck) I did check my speed all the time, because I thought it would be a very expensive trip if I’d cross the limit, but next time I will drive a lot more relaxed…

        1. Denis Article Author

          Hi Ed,

          you are right. I never expected this blog to get comments so I never setup up the mailing for it :). Should be fine now.
          The things that are most unexpected in Austria are the “Baustelle” or simply roadwork. For example if longer road work is planned (right now they are making a fork near Graz to go toward Hungary and it’s planned till 2023) they will set up a radar at the beginning and the end of it. Getting two tickets for basically the same thing 😉

  2. Alex

    Hi! A speedcamera caught me while driving 133 km /h as I was driving on the motorway between Bad Gestein and St Anton Am Arlberg. It was clumsy to drive that fast but I simply got carried away as there where no cars in the area. I am not sure if it was an IGL area or not. I drive on Swedish plates. My question is, do you think I will lose my license or will it only be a fine? Wrong email in my previous comment.

    Thanks in advance!

    1. Denis Article Author

      Hey Alex,

      nah, don’t worry about it. The literary worst thing that could happen ever si that if you get enough point (18) you cannot drive in Austria. They cannot take away a foreign licence. But even if there was an IG-L for 80km/h and you drove 133km/h still means you’d have to pay a fine of 250€ and get 6 points.

    1. Denis Article Author

      I think it’s confusing for Italians as well :). Honestly, I’m not in Italy much but I was thinking about writing up a post about their parking spaces, payments etc, since even for me an ex-music Europe tour manager it’s by far the worst there.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.