• Germany's news in English

Pope escapes German seat belt fine

The Local · 1 Dec 2011, 07:55

Published: 01 Dec 2011 07:55 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

A Freiburg city spokeswoman said roads had been closed during Pope Benedict's visit in September, when he was driven through crowds in the special vehicle - without a seat belt.

She told the Südkurier newspaper that normal traffic rules had been suspended for the visit as roads the pope used were blocked to public traffic.

Johannes Christian Sundermann, an attorney from North Rhine-Westphalia, had filed a formal complaint on behalf of a Dortmund man against the pope last week, charging that he had failed to buckle up several times during his Freiburg visit.

He had threatened to call several prominent figures as witnesses, including the archbishop of Freiburg.

The attorney had said his client was simply interested in raising awareness about traffic safety, not haranguing the pope.

If the charges had been pressed, Benedict XVI could have been fined between €30 and €2,500, although it is not clear whether diplomatic immunity as head of state of the Vatican would have allowed him to skirt the fine.

Story continues below…

The Local/mdm

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

09:44 December 1, 2011 by lumberjack
Seems like the clergy is above the law, including the abuse of minors.
10:20 December 1, 2011 by freechoice
this is no good, it reflect badly on Roman Catholism.
10:44 December 1, 2011 by nemo999
Not only does it seem that the pope is above the laws of man, but it appears that they feel that the Pope is above the laws of nature.

I wonder if the Pope is required to us a seat belt when he flies, or is this another case where the Pope and his staff feel that they are not subject to the laws of nature.
11:21 December 1, 2011 by frankiep
I don't know what is more ridiculous: the fact that some loser saw fit to actually try to bring these charges to court, or the comments posted here after this article.
12:13 December 1, 2011 by bugger
"normal traffic rules had been suspended for him"

On which statutory basis were the traffic rules suspended, dear authorities?
13:15 December 1, 2011 by tobyjug
@ bugger i would guess that the road was closed to normal traffic and the vehicle was driving probably under 10km an hour!!!!!!!! seat belts are designed to stop injury in case of a crash!!! think the chance of a dangerous accident were a few powers of 10 bellow the national average.
16:06 December 1, 2011 by lumberjack
Pope doesn't wear his seat belt, doesn't wear condoms, great example, lets all follow this retard.
20:22 December 1, 2011 by danceswithgoats
Do you think Barack Obama wears a seat belt in the back of his armored cadillac? This is a disgusting attempt to smear the Pope and is not newsworthy. Most of the comments on this thread would have been deleted if the story was about a Muslim religious leader. Germany is doomed.
22:21 December 1, 2011 by Redwing
Why should he wear a seat-belt, he has God on his side. Clever man.
09:24 December 2, 2011 by frankiep

You hit the nail on the head. The posters here, and the loser who try to bring this "case" to court, have proven themselves to all be petty, hateful, and vindicative by trying to take something that is the definition of a total non-issue and turn it into a criminal act. All in the name of obvious anti-Catholic/Christian bigotry.
23:52 December 4, 2011 by Berliner Mauer
After arriving in New York, the Pope is picked up at the airport by a limousine. Looking at the beautiful car, he says to the driver, "You know, I hardly ever get to drive. Certainly you could let me drive."

The driver is understandably hesitant and says, "I'm sorry, but I don't think I'm supposed to do that."

But the Pope persists, "Please?"

The reluctant driver gives in, "Oh, alright, I can't really say no to the Pope."

So the Pope takes the wheel and puts the pedal to the medal going 100mph in a 45 zone. When a policeman pulls them over, the driver feels doomed because he is sure to lose his job. The cop walks up and asks the Pope to wind the window down. Startled and surprised, the young officer asks the Pope to wait while he goes back to his patrol car and radios the chief.

Cop: Chief, I have a problem.

Chief: What sort of problem?

Cop: Well, you see, I pulled over this guy for driving way over the speed limit, but it's someone really important.

Chief: Important like the mayor?

Cop: No, no, much more important than that.

Chief: Important like the governor?

Cop: Way more important than that.

Chief: Like the president?

Cop: Much more important.

Chief: "Who's more important than the president?"

Cop: "I think it¦#39;s God!

Chief: God?

Cop: Well, yes. His chauffeur is the Pope!
17:34 April 10, 2012 by Chirantha
This is really disappointing. People! that motorcade was traveling at less than 10KM/h... Firstly the seat belt is suppose to be something that prevents injury when an accident occurs at high speed. That being said, we all test drive our vehicles inside our gardens... or reverse the car from the garage... move the car forward to make space, we do not always wear seat belts.

People here are depressed bastards who cannot stand the jealousy of someone not wearing the seat belt, at this point its the Pope. Look at the chair he is sitting on! Is that a chair of a Car? Law is really enforced in your country yes! so you dogs are on a short leach. Sorry, the Pope is not mastered by anyone. Go fly a kite.

Also next thing is always use knee guards and ankle guards when walking! Don't forget to wear double underwear in-case you fall... and people do fall when walking.

Jesus, you German's are bloody retards!

You cannot fine a Head of State. Most you can do is force him to leave the country. Basics of any country law.
Today's headlines
Munich to get 'nice toilets' to serve cross-legged locals
Photo: DPA

The Bavarian capital has a pee problem - the city only has one public toilet for every 13,000 inhabitants. But a new plan could rescue desperate locals, the Süddeutsche Zeitung reports.

German kids get glowing report for their English skills
Photo: DPA.

As if multilingual Germans don't already put many English-speakers to shame, now the younger generation is improving their English skills even more.

Berlin museum controversially recreates Hitler bunker
The reconstruction of the Hitler bunker. Photo: DPA

Sensationalized or compelling history? Berlin museums clash over new Nazi bunker exhibit

Germans think they're fit, but they're really couch potatoes
Photo: DPA.

There's been an increase in the number of Germans who define themselves as "fit", but their lifestyle choices don't quite match this self-perception.

10 fascinating facts you never knew about German beer
Tennis coach Boris Becker and his wife Lilly at Oktoberfest 2016 in Munich. Photo: DPA

From malt and monks to Radlers and rivalries, the story of German beer is as rich and wonderful as its selection.

Intensive farming 'endangers a third of German species'
Photo: DPA

There are 32,000 species of animal, plant and mushroom life native to Germany. Due to intensive farming methods, one in every three of these is endangered, a new report shows.

German hospital uses therapy to 'treat' paedophiles
A poster from the campaigne "Don't offend", which offers therapy to paedophiles. The sign reads "Do you love kids more than you'd prefer? There's help." Photo: DB Scholz & Friends / DPA.

A unique German initiative is offering therapy to paedophiles to control their urges, with the aim of getting them help before they offend.

Minister: 'no tolerance' for clowns after chainsaw attack
Photo: DPA

Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière has called for a zero-tolerance approach to 'killer clowns' after a series of attacks culminating in two teenagers being chased by a clown wielding a chainsaw.

Baby who was auctioned on eBay taken away from father
Photo: DPA.

A German court ruled on Thursday that a man who put his one-month-old baby up for sale on the online auction platform eBay should only be allowed contact with the child under supervision.

Portugal's ruling party calls German minister 'pyromaniac'
Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble. Photo: DPA.

The head of Portugal's ruling Socialists called German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble a "pyromaniac" on Thursday after he criticized Lisbon for reversing course on austerity.

10 German clichés that foreigners get very wrong
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
10 ways German completely messes up your English
Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd