Who will tame German drivers?

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EThere is a country in the heart of Europe, where there is easy manners on the streets. With 70 things through the city, with 120 on the country road? Motorists in Germany can do that. Driving too fast, in any case, is hardly sanctioned. Nothing will change until further notice because the new, tougher catalog of fines has been suspended for the time being due to a formal error.

In international comparison, tips are more likely to be payable for speed violations. Even those who exceed the limit by a full 20 kilometers per hour only pay 30 euros outside of town. In the Netherlands or Switzerland, at least 170 euros are due for this, in France or Italy the corresponding sanctions start at 130 euros. Finland makes the amount dependent on income, a million heir sometimes pays 170,000 euros for exceeding 30 km / h. Germany is more at the level of Bulgaria, although wages are very different.

“Free travel for free citizens” – how many lives is that worth? The speed limit opponents are pushing ahead of this debate. At the same time, they affirm that they are doing “everything” for safe motorways. That doesn’t fit together, a look at the statistics shows, writes Stefan Tomik at FPlus.

Visitors from abroad often do not want to believe that parking tickets are often cheaper in this country than the regular tariff – and that the police act as laxly in the event of traffic violations as the financial regulator when dealing with fraudulent Wirecard managers. In contrast to many other areas, violations of the law in road traffic are widely tolerated, contrary to what is often claimed.

Even those who are flashed a hundred times only pay for their tickets

There are no further difficulties. There is a simple reason why most road users on German motorway construction sites drive exactly 20 km / h faster than permitted: This is the limit from which an entry in the Flensburg traffic register follows, in the event of repetition the withdrawal of the driver’s license.

There is no cumulative effect below this threshold: Even if you are flashed a hundred times, you only pay for your ticket, unlike the black driver in the subway, who has to expect a criminal complaint the third time. A one-month ban on driving is considered unreasonable for drivers – which, of course, is at least a minor inconvenience for city dwellers, while for rural residents it is often equivalent to a domestic quarantine.

Finally, little is checked in many places. More frequent checks are “often very difficult due to staff shortages,” writes the Berlin Senate Administration responsible, for example, on official stationery. In some places it is even claimed that speed controls are technically too complex on multi-lane roads. And a chief of the police chief said casually that it wasn’t so bad if someone drove 100 times on the city highway instead of the permitted 80 km / h. He may even be right there; Such a relaxed attitude would be inappropriate in residential areas.

It doesn’t have to be the same as in Switzerland

The then Brandenburg Interior Minister Jörg Schönbohm, often called hardliner, showed around the turn of the millennium how it can be done better. When he took office, Brandenburg had the most traffic fatalities in Germany. Schönbohm relied on rigid speed limits – and intensive controls. This worked, despite few sanction options (but also among price-sensitive customers, given the East German wage level at that time): The many crosses on the wayside, which indicate the numerous victims, have almost disappeared.

When the federal and state governments are now negotiating the second attempt at the new catalog of fines, the mix of measures is important. There are countries in which, like once in Brandenburg, small fines already result from frequent controls, and others such as Italy, where sanctions are less frequent but more drastic – which sometimes gives the impression of arbitrariness.

It doesn’t have to be as over-regulated as in Switzerland, where, for fear of the consequences, hardly anyone will exceed the very low speed limits by even an hour. On the other hand: Nobody has seriously said that democracy and the rule of law would be undermined by the Confederates.

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