Editions:  Austria · Denmark · France · Germany · Italy · Norway · Spain · Sweden · Switzerland
Advertisement

‘I only scratched my head with phone’ driver convinces court

Share this article

‘I only scratched my head with phone’ driver convinces court
Photo: DPA
12:31 CET+01:00
A court in the Rhineland has let a man off a fine for using a mobile phone while driving, after he convinced them he was simply using it to scratch his ear.

“If someone holds their phone and moves it from one place to another but doesn’t use it for its actual purpose - either by typing or talking - that’s not a breach of traffic law,” judge Dietmar Adam said on Wednesday, the Rheinische Post reports.

The 22-year-old defendant's lawyer successfully argued that this is exactly what happened when his client was collared by police.

Far from holding the phone to his ear his client “was scratching himself with it because he had a rash on his face,” the lawyer claimed.

The judge was convinced by the argument because the young man’s face was inflamed by a rash at the time of his court appearance.

“I picked up the phone from the footwell of the car and reflexively scratched my face with it,” the man from Leverkusen said. “The I put it back down on the passenger seat.”

Neither the judge nor the policeman who was called as witness could disprove this version of events.

Andreas Hölzel of the German Automobile Association (ADAC) told The Local that using a mobile phone at the wheel is highly inadvisable.

“Using a phone while driving is rightly viewed as highly dangerous. How much danger it poses can only be estimated. Email, Whatsapp and other [written forms of communication] are a particular distraction,” he said.

He added that the penalty for using a phone at the wheel in Germany has recently been increased and that in the view of the ADAC this was a correct decision.

Get notified about breaking news on The Local

Share this article

Advertisement

From our sponsors

10 things you should never do in Germany

Every country has its own unique cultural dos and don’ts. You won’t get a round of applause for remembering the dos, but you can get into seriously hot water for forgetting the don’ts. To help you out, here’s The Local’s guide to 10 things you should never do in Germany.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement