What traffic sins abroad cost
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On the hunt for traffic offenders: Policewoman Maria Nicoletta and her company car, a Lamborghini Gallardo in Italian police livery.
Source: Axel F. Busse
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The police sports car is mainly used near Rome and on the Adriatic motorway.
Source: Axel F. Busse
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Speed sinner without a chance: At the latest when the trowel is visible, the Lamborghini and with it the police have won.
Source: Axel F. Busse
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Maria Nicoletta with her colleagues and her company car.
Source: Axel F. Busse
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The Lamborghini in detail: alloy wheels and the label of the Italian traffic police (l.).
Source: Axel F. Busse
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In the UK the police are with the Mitsubishi Lancer "Evolution X" On the way.
Source: DPA / Mitsubishi
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The most powerful car of the German traffic authorities is the Porsche Cayenne; the picture shows the first generation of the Cayenne.
Source: porsche / Stefan Warter
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Tailor-made for chases on American highways: the Carbon E7.
Source: Carbon Motors
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Traffic cops in Japan have it luxuriously. You use the sports car Honda NSX.
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In Sweden, the police also have to be nimble off-road. The Volvo XC 70 is used.
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Another real battleship is the Brazilian officials’ Chevrolet Blazer.
Source: Fatima Rodriguez
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In Thailand the police need a lot of loading space. She drives pick-ups from Japanese manufacturers.
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On the streets of the US state of Michigan, the police encounter speeders in a Dodge Charger.
Source: GPD II
Driving a car abroad obeys different rules. If you break it, it becomes expensive. And: fine proceedings are pursued across Europe.
D.he Switzerland is a beautiful holiday destination. Also for driving a car. Wonderful mountain roads, wonderful serpentines and an exemplary network of paths. However, if you are caught wrongly parking or driving too fast with a foreign license plate, you will get a fine just like at home. Either immediately at the scene of the crime by the police or by post.
The Swiss authorities get the address of the traffic offender from the German central register of the Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) in Flensburg, where every owner is registered. Flensburg received 537,000 international inquiries in 2008.
What the most common traffic sins in other European countries cost
Sin 1: WRONG PARKING
Sin 2: Overtaking in the prohibition of overtaking
Sin 3: CROSSING A RED LIGHT LIGHT
Sin 4: DRIVE 20 KM / H TOO FAST
Sin 5: DRIVE 50 KM / H TOO FAST
Sin 6: ALCOHOL IN THE TAX
Sin 7: MOBILE PHONE AT THE WHEEL
In addition to speed limits or alcohol limits, some rules now apply abroad that are foreign to German drivers. While here, as in France and Switzerland, it is recommended to drive with lights on during the day, daytime running lights are compulsory in 21 other European countries: Slovakia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Croatia, Lithuania, Latvia, Macedonia, Norway , Poland, Sweden, Slovenia, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Violations can be costly. In Denmark it costs at least 70 euros to forget to switch on the lights, in Norway it costs 190 euros.
The warning vests also take getting used to. In some countries the vest must always be carried with you, in others it is sufficient to wear it in the event of a breakdown. The obligation to have a reflective vest in the car and to wear it in the event of an accident or breakdown applies in Belgium, France, Italy, Croatia, Luxembourg, Norway, Austria, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain and Hungary. In Belgium, for example, a violation costs at least 50 and a maximum of 1350 euros, Spain generally charges 90 and Portugal up to 600 euros.
Guilty drivers will certainly pay the fine. However, if you think you can ignore the ticket because it comes from abroad, you should avoid this country in the future. The Swiss authorities, for example, usually initiate a dunning procedure. If this is unsuccessful, the fine becomes a prison sentence. The defaulting sinner then faces immediate arrest on Swiss soil for five years. Only then is the statute of limitations.
Most of the 27 EU countries are not treated quite as harshly with foreigners who have broken the traffic rules. Only Italy, along with Switzerland, has introduced a five-year limitation period, but the average is three years.
Traffic offenses are generally prosecuted across borders throughout Europe. The national regulations and the amount of fines are very different. Many countries have also introduced their own point systems, some counting up and others counting down. According to ADAC, foreign law enforcement officers often threaten German traffic offenders with a point entry in the German central register in Flensburg.
However, points collected abroad are generally not recorded in Flensburg, even if the foreign authority informs the Federal Motor Transport Authority about the entry of points. In the Tatland itself, however, a points account can be created on which all traffic violations there are added. If you have reached your point limit, there is a threat of a driving ban for the national territory.
The German driving license, however, remains unaffected by foreign driving bans, even if the cardboard is confiscated in the holiday country. If you then drive in Germany without a permit, you risk a mild warning fee of ten euros. If the Federal Motor Transport Authority learns of the foreign driving ban, it is entered in the central traffic register “for informational reasons”.
Since March 2007 there has been an EU framework decision that urges all member states to enable Europe-wide prosecution and enforcement of traffic fines. This difference is legally important. Because the persecution almost always has no consequences for the persecuted. The KBA’s central register does answer foreign inquiries about German car owners. But no German bailiff has ever collected a fine abroad.
With one exception: Austria and Germany have been providing mutual administrative assistance with enforcement since 2001. This agreement is intended to serve as a model for all other countries. However, there are some hurdles to overcome. So-called owner liability applies in many EU countries. Regardless of who was behind the wheel, the officially registered owner of the car is always liable. It’s different in Germany. If a driver cannot be determined here, the method is generally discontinued.
In June, Federal Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries (SPD) presented a draft that aims to integrate Germany as the 15th of the 27 EU countries in the Europe-wide "fine enforcement association". According to the minister, it will no longer become lawful during this legislative period. It is entirely possible, however, that the regulation will come into force on October 1, 2010.
A few German peculiarities are already set out in the draft, which should not necessarily facilitate official communication with neighboring countries. Austria already collects fines of 25 euros or more in Germany. Germany itself only wants to enforce from 30 euros.
According to Michael Nissen, the ADAC’s legal expert, there should be exceptions for notices of fines that are sent to a German in a foreign language. “Hungary, for example,” says Nissen, “refuses to translate official letters into the language of the addressee.” The Federal Ministry of Justice considers such a thing to be just as unreasonable as owner liability. According to Nissen, this is also expressly excluded in the draft.
Just over half of the EU countries have so far followed the framework decision of 2007. It is unclear whether and when the rest will follow. Because, unlike an EU directive, such a decision is not binding. You can, but you don’t have to follow it.
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