The third Germany-wide ‘blitz marathon’ provided an extremely high number of motorists with a photograph that they will prize for a long time to come, even though none of them wished for such an image. Across the entire country an army of police officers – over ten thousand according to some reports – manned the speed cameras and positioned themselves in front of schools, on streets where a certain speed limit is set but regularly ignored, and in areas with a high rate of traffic accidents. The number of over-the-limit drivers caught is something of a surprise, since the action was well publicized in advance, right down to the streets which would be covered.
Photo Source: Robert Weller – Creative Commons
Following a court action several years ago, it is now allowed for the media to publish exactly where a mobile speed trap is working, and some radio stations have regular updates to warn drivers well in advance. Even so, in Lower Saxony alone over five thousand motorists were caught out, and now have the pleasure of opening their post in the next few days and either forking out a number of bills or, in some cases, forking out the bills, adding points to their record and losing their license for up to three months. From the 184,000 cars checked, 2.8% were driving too fast, a drop in numbers from last year where the total was 3.5%. Of these over ninety have the pleasure of giving up their license.
Does this ‘blitz marathon’ make any real difference, aside from emptying a few bank accounts? The police swear by it, but also note that, after a speed trap has been passed, many drivers speed up once more, the danger, as they see it, now behind them.
- Viktoria Michaelis.