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CRIME

Daredevil pensioner in reckless road rampage

Police in Meschede, western Germany, were astonished when a car overtook them on the wrong side of a state road, only to discover that the dangerous driver was 76 years old.

Daredevil pensioner in reckless road rampage
Need for speed - not the man or vehicle in question. Photo: DPA

The septuagenarian has had his license taken away after the incident that could have easily caused an accident.

According to police reports, the elderly driver went past a line of traffic by entering the bus lane, before trying to squeeze between the police vehicle and the roadside barrier in order to rejoin the correct lane.

The police officers driving along the state road in North Rhine Westphalia suddenly noticed the car on their right. The officer at the wheel was forced to break sharply and veer off to the left to avoid an accident.

Afterwards the daredevil pensioner continued undeterred on his rampage and overtook even more vehicles using the filter lane, the no access area and the lane of oncoming traffic with no apparent consideration for other road users.

The police set off in pursuit of the hazardous driver and managed to stop the vehicle in the nearest town. When he was finally pulled over, a motorcyclist also stopped and said he had almost been run over by the elderly motorist.

Police confiscated the 76 year-old's driver's licence. Despite his perilous use of the road, the pensioner was perplexed by the accusations of dangerous driving.

Police have brought charges him, and are asking for further witnesses to come forward.

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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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