Most bike locks child’s play for thieves

The majority of bike locks on the market can be broken within a few minutes by a determined thief, according to a test released on Thursday by the independent consumer watchdog Stiftung Warentest.

Most bike locks child's play for thieves
Photo: DPA

In a test of D-locks, folding locks, reinforced cables and chain locks, the majority could be broken within just three minutes – even the expensive ones.

The test found that no one lock would provide 100 percent security against a would-be bike bandit, but that in general, D-locks were most likely to stop a thief in their tracks. The majority of chains and cables were found to provide little to no protection.

Overall, 17 of the 37 tested locks were found to be “lacking”, whereas just five were found to be effective in stopping or slowing down thieves.

The winners of the test, given the highest “very good” seal, were two D-locks on sale for a cool €80 and €85 each, with two cheaper versions going for €75 and €40 given the second highest “good” seal.

If you want to hang on to your two-wheeled buddy, the watchdog advised that it be locked up out of sight when out and about, and put it behind a locked door overnight.

Most bike thieves “specialise” in one type of lock and carry a special tool to make light work of breaking them. Securing your bike with two different types of lock could also help deter them, said the organisation.

DAPD/The Local/jlb

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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