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Speedy disabled man told: Get out and walk
An archive picture of an electro-cart. Photo: DPA

Speedy disabled man told: Get out and walk

Published: 08 Mar 2013 15:57 GMT+01:00
Updated: 08 Mar 2013 15:57 GMT+01:00

A disabled pensioner was recently stopped by German police for speeding on his electric cart and reportedly ordered to continue his journey on foot.

Klaus-Dieter Stellmacher, 63, was on his way home in the town of Schwedt in the eastern state of Brandenburg last week when he zoomed passed a parked police car. He was confronted by five officers who claimed he exceeded the 6 kph speed limit which applies to drivers with no third-party insurance, he told the regional daily Märkische Oderzeitung.

According to specifications provided by manufacturers of the Shoprider 889-XLS, the vehicle's maximum speed-limit is the prescribed 6 kph.

But Stellmacher, left with disabilities after a series of strokes, says this explanation was not accepted and he was told to continue his journey home on foot while pushing the heavy cart.

Police spokesman Gerald Pillkuhn confirmed that colleagues had encountered Stellmacher travelling at excessive speed. "If he doesn't know how fast his vehicle is able to travel, it would have been careless to allow him to continue his journey", Pillkuhn told Die Welt newspaper.

Whether the officers really instructed him to continue his journey on foot, however, remains unclear.

A test conducted on the cart later revealed that it's able to reach double the speed claimed by the manufacturer. Apparently the retiree wasn't aware of this.

"Does the police now want to make a name for itself at the expense of the disabled?" Elke Grunwald, Schwedt's senior citizens' representative, told the Märkische Oderzeitung.

"The police should rather be present on the streets during the evening. Many of the elderly are afraid to step outside for fear of being mugged."

She said she will refer the matter to the mayor.

The Local/mjl

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

17:41 March 8, 2013 by lucksi
It's not like you have a speedo on those things. If there haven't been any modifications by the user, then the company who builds them should be responsible for any fines.
20:30 March 8, 2013 by Bulldawg82
Old dude tricked out his ride! I bet he has a bitchin' stereo in that thing!
02:33 March 9, 2013 by treecat
...Increase the voltage by a factor of.... bigger battery pack with lithium 24 volt..... 9 to 10 mph maybe.
11:02 March 9, 2013 by bhess
I'm a former LEO and you can't win with those kind of cases. Guy in a scooter and you make him walk. So much liability. If they really wanted to press the matter follow him to his house then deal with it.
11:32 March 9, 2013 by wood artist
Sounds like overkill. Do they really have a radar or whatever that will track speeds that slow, or did they use a car and pace him? Was he driving erratically, or just going too fast? Was he endangering others?

Unless he was a complete pain, I'd be very inclined to simply point out his speed and tell him to slow down. Considering his disabilities, if he had come to grief on the way home I think he'd be well within his rights to file an action against the police, especially if he was relying upon the information from the manufacturer about the top speed for the cart.

As @bhess suggested, if it's really that BIG a thing, escort him home to make sure he arrives safely, and then request that he deal with the cart's speed appropriately. Must have been a really slow day for the police.

wa
14:53 March 9, 2013 by RajeshG
this is the second bad cop story of the day - first being handcuffed lady punched and battered by cop and now a handicap senior person made to walk - hey what's happening in Germany? Maybe the cops have too secure jobs in this age of unemployment to make them so smug. How about dismissing a few of them?
00:22 March 11, 2013 by johnny108
Get the guy a guest spot on "Sons of Anarchy".!
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