• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3
‘I only scratched my head with phone’ driver convinces court
Photo: DPA

‘I only scratched my head with phone’ driver convinces court

The Local · 3 Mar 2016, 12:31

Published: 03 Mar 2016 12:31 GMT+01:00

“If someone holds their phone and moves it from one place to another but doesn’t use it for its actual purpose - either by typing or talking - that’s not a breach of traffic law,” judge Dietmar Adam said on Wednesday, the Rheinische Post reports.

The 22-year-old defendant's lawyer successfully argued that this is exactly what happened when his client was collared by police.

Far from holding the phone to his ear his client “was scratching himself with it because he had a rash on his face,” the lawyer claimed.

The judge was convinced by the argument because the young man’s face was inflamed by a rash at the time of his court appearance.

“I picked up the phone from the footwell of the car and reflexively scratched my face with it,” the man from Leverkusen said. “The I put it back down on the passenger seat.”

Neither the judge nor the policeman who was called as witness could disprove this version of events.

Andreas Hölzel of the German Automobile Association (ADAC) told The Local that using a mobile phone at the wheel is highly inadvisable.

Story continues below…

“Using a phone while driving is rightly viewed as highly dangerous. How much danger it poses can only be estimated. Email, Whatsapp and other [written forms of communication] are a particular distraction,” he said.

He added that the penalty for using a phone at the wheel in Germany has recently been increased and that in the view of the ADAC this was a correct decision.

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
What is the link between the attacks in Germany last week?
Police on guard in Munich. Photo: DPA

And how likely are 'copycat' attacks?

Rights experts call for calm after string of violent attacks
Bavaria has called for soldiers to protect the German border. Photo: DPA

Human rights groups and legal experts are warning the government to react responsibly to the attacks and rampages which have taken place in Germany in recent days.

France church attacker had been arrested in Germany
Photo: DPA

A neighbour described the man as a "ticking time bomb".

Dutch join hunt for German terrorists-turned-outlaws
From left to right: Ernst-Volker Staub, Daniela Klette and Burkhard Garweg. Photo: DPA.

Dutch police on Tuesday told people to be on the lookout for three German far-left militants, at large for decades and suspected of a string of recent heists.

German Olympic champion savages 'pro-doping' IOC
Robert Harting. Photo: DPA

Olympic discus champion Robert Harting on Tuesday launched a verbal attack on compatriot Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee, for the IOC's stance on state-run Russian doping.

Man gets life in jail for murder of two young children
Silvio Schulz. Photo: DPA

A former security guard was handed a life sentence Tuesday for murdering two children, one of them a four-year-old Bosnian boy snatched from a crowded migrant registration centre last year.

Munich shooting
German Turks mourn Munich shooting victims
Flowers for the victims. Photo: DPA

Seven of the nine victims were Muslim.

Doctor killed in Berlin hospital shooting: police
Police at the scene in southern Berlin. Photo: DPA

A doctor has died after being shot at a Berlin hospital by an elderly man, Berlin police said on Twitter on Tuesday.

The Local List
Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts

These hidden spots are steeped in shadows of their past and just begging to be explored...

Berlin refugee teen prepares to swim at the Olympics
Photo: DPA

Eighteen-year-old refugee Yusra Mardini has pulled a boat of 20 refugees from the middle of the Aegean to the Greek shore. Now she's preparing to swim at the Olympics.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
DPA
Gallery
IN PICTURES: How Munich responded to shooting spree
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
National
Bavaria train attack: Were police right to shoot to kill?
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
National
How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Technology
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
Travel
Six soothing day trips to escape the bustle of Berlin
International
'Germany needs to make UK come to its senses'
Features
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
Features
How two gay dads cut through German red tape to start a family
Sponsored Article
Health insurance for expats in Germany: a quick guide
National
Five things to know about guns in Germany
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Culture
10 things you need to know before attending a German wedding
National
Eight weird habits you'll pick up living in Germany
Lifestyle
Six reasons 'super-cool' Berlin isn't all it's cracked up to be
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Society
Only one country likes getting naked on the beach more than Germany
Lifestyle
23 ridiculously fascinating things you never knew about Berlin
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Culture
8 German words that perfectly sum up your 20s
Lifestyle
Can't make it past the door at Berlin's most famous club? Help is at hand
Business & Money
Why Frankfurt could steal London's crown as Europe's finance capital
Features
6 surprising things I learned about Germany while editing The Local
Culture
Five sure-fire ways to impress Germans with your manners
10,756
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd