On German motorways and "A roads" (in Germany "B" for BundesstraÃe or "L" for "LandstraÃe") out of towns (yellow plates with town name on) you should turn lights on during (heavy) rain. Even in cities people turn on the light while it's raining.
This is not to see something but to be seen by others (62.5 mph often out of towns).
You turn on the "normal light" as if it was night.
"Leo" (dictionary says "dimmed lights" or "dipped headlights".
Same in TUNNELS
on the motorways to be seen in the rear view mirror of other cars and for best own view. Many tunnels have white signs that show "lights on" ("Licht an"). At the end of the tunnel might be a "lights off" ("Licht aus") ...
If you have an accident in a tunnel or during rain / bad weather conditions and your lights were off, you might get into trouble because you might be blamed (accident might not have happened if the other one had seen you earlier) ...
At ferry ports you can buy special foils for your lights, so that you don't dazzle others driving on the right side ...
Oh yes; fog lights are only allowed when it's foggy!!!
Exception: One of them can be on when you turn left/right (programmed in some BMT cars).
But the normal fog lights have to be off. I think in cities, fog lights are generally forbidden?
Your experience was absolutely correct!
I think the police just gave you a short flash as a hint. Less accidents cause less work for them.
Do you already need a refective vest in the UK?
In Germany you have to have one for the driver from 1st April on!
I don't think the police will "hunt tourists" but they will surely control German drivers.
We have no single or double lines on the roads but blue-red signs.
Oh yes; and you always have to park on your side of the road (right) with the front "in normal position". In England people also "cross the road" to park on the other side. This is forbidden in Germany (but some do it). If you see parking space on the other side of the road you have to turn and then park "right".
We have more and more roundabouts (wonderful!!!).
In England I rode with 30 mph through roundabouts because I always knew what the others will do. In Germany the roundabout tradition is much shorter and you always have to beware. I ride "British" in Germany (indicate where I want to go entering the roundabout) and then indicate when I leave.
This is not correct in Germany (correct is indicating before driving out of the roundabout). But I love the English system (and I love irritating others when I indicate left, entering the roundabout).
Mostly in the East of Germany we have Green "turn right arrows" at traffic lights (a GDR tradition we didn't have in the FRG). You have to stop and can drive right if the road is free- but you have to stop.
YouMUST NOTuse front or rear fog lights unless visibility is seriously reduced (seeRule 226) as they dazzle other road users and can obscure your brake lights. YouMUSTswitch them off when visibility improves.
Law RVLR regs 25 & 27There are too many muppets driving around with side lights and front fogs...
another very important word on German motorways is STAU ...
"Stau" means "traffic jam" (ahead). Most motorways in the Ruhrgebiet have "signal panels" which can be operated by the police. They can show different speed limits or "Stau" (ahead).
If you drive the Autobahn "A40" through the Ruhrgebiet or pass Cologne by day, there is a 90% "Stau" guarantee ...
Our Autobahn on-ramps might be strange for someone from England, too?
The on-ramps have a 90°/180°/270° turn. You can drive them with 30 mph best.
At the end of the turn you accelerate to 50-65 mph to enter the Autobahn ...
Same leaving the motorway. Drive about 60 mph on the motorway and on the "deceleration line" slow down to 30 mph before the 90°/180°/270° turn ...
And if your M&M doesn't work:
Most Autobahns with even numbers bring you from West to East while the uneven numbered motorways bring you from North to South ...