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CRIME

Family’s ‘parked’ car used as airport shuttle

A German family returning from holiday were amazed when their own car drew up beside them at the airport doors – and other people got in. The vehicle they had left safely in an airport car park was being used by a shuttle service firm.

Family's 'parked' car used as airport shuttle
Who's driving your car? Photo: DPA

There was no mistaking their car – the registration plates proved it was theirs. But it was bearing magnetic signs for the shuttle service and being driven by a stranger to drive people to and from Düsseldorf airport.

The family called the police, who confirmed on Thursday that the car had been left with a parking service – which also operated a shuttle service. And, Die Welt newspaper reported on Friday, the 21-year-old driver had neither a driving nor a chauffeur’s license.

The company initially said the incident was a one-off mistake by a temporary worker – but then the family checked the milometer in the car – which showed it had been driven 400 kilometres while they were away.

The police are now investigating the matter.

The Local/hc

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CRIME

Driver in Bavaria gets €5,000 fine for giving the finger to speed camera

A driver in Passau has been hit with a €5,000 fine because he was caught by traffic police giving the middle finger.

Driver in Bavaria gets €5,000 fine for giving the finger to speed camera

The district court of Passau sentenced the 53-year-old motorist to the fine after he was caught making the rude gesture in the direction of the speedometer last August on the A3 near the Donautal Ost service area, reported German media. 

The man was not caught speeding, however. According to traffic police who were in the speed camera vehicle at the time, another driver who had overtaken the 53-year-old was over the speed limit. 

When analysing the photo, the officers discovered the slower driver’s middle finger gesture and filed a criminal complaint.

The driver initially filed an objection against a penalty order, and the case dragged on for several months. However, he then accepted the complaint. He was sentenced to 50 ‘unit fines’ of €100 on two counts of insulting behaviour, amounting to €5,000.

READ ALSO: The German rules of the road that are hard to get your head around

In a letter to police, the man said he regretted the incident and apologised. 

Police said it was “not a petty offence”, and that the sentence could have been “even more drastic”.

People who give insults while driving can face a prison sentences of up to a year.

“Depending on the nature and manner of the incident or in the case of persons with a previous conviction, even a custodial sentence without parole may be considered for an insult,” police in Passau said. 

What does the law say?

Showing the middle finger to another road user in road traffic is an offence in Germany under Section 185 of the Criminal Code (StGB). It’s punishable by a prison sentence of up to one year or a fine.

People can file a complaint if someone shows them the middle finger in road traffic, but it usually only has a chance of success if witnesses can prove that it happened.

As well as the middle finger, it can also be an offence to verbally insult someone. 

READ ALSO: The German road signs that confuse foreigners

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