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Tattletale keeps records on parking violators

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Tattletale keeps records on parking violators
Photo: DPA
11:38 CET+01:00
A retiree in the Lower Saxony region of northern Germany with an obsession for parking regulations has drawn new public ire after it was revealed that he's kept private records on all 30,000 parking violators he's issued “tickets” to.

Horst-Werner Nilges, also known as Knöllchen-Horst or “Parking Ticket Horst,” has been tormenting the Osterode district where he lives for years.

When the 58-year-old sees a parking violation, he documents it and sends a report to local authorities, in the hope they'll issue real parking tickets.

In the past, Nilges has also ticketed a helicopter that landed and blocked a parking space during a rescue mission.

But this week Nilges admitted that he doesn't just send off reports, he meticulously documents each violation in a computer, so he can identify repeat offenders. That's prompted concern that he may be in violation of Germany's strict data protection laws.

But local prosecutors said that as long as Nilges keeps the records only for himself, he's legally in the clear.

Officials said they rarely act on information they receive from Nilges because they are rarely delivered with evidence to back up the claims such as photographs.

But Knöllchen-Horst has himself run afoul of traffic regulations at least once: In 2010 he had to pay €33.50 after receiving a photo radar ticket for driving too fast.

Although he had previously talked of scaling back his habit, he remains unable to kick it. A few days ago he ticketed a truck parked in the wrong direction.

The Local/DPA/mdm

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