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Police snap parrot going at 1.5 times speed limit

Police in Zweibrücken in western Germany were puzzled when their speed trap was set off although no cars were on the road. But they were even more surprised to see what had triggered it.

Police snap parrot going at 1.5 times speed limit
Photo: Polizei Zweibrücken

Two traffic officers were manning a speed trap in the small town in Rhineland-Palatinate on Thursday morning, local police reported.

At around 10am, the device activated without the slightest sign of a car anywhere to be seen – leaving the officers scratching their heads.

But as the pair studied the photos taken by the trap's camera, puzzlement turned to laughter as they spotted a parrot racing through the air.

As it flew close to the ground, the exotic bird had reached a speed of 43 km/h – almost 1.5 times the 30 km/h speed limit in the area.


The parrots of Zweibrücken are at home in the Rosengarten park. Photo: Wikipedia

Parrots are no strangers to Zweibrücken, with several species reportedly calling the town home and living in the Rosengarten park.

Although they know the parrot's address, police concluded that “it is still not determined who should pay the €15 fine that's due.”

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POLICE

German police under fire for using tracing app to find witnesses

German police drew criticism Tuesday for using an app to trace contacts from bars and restaurants in the fight against the pandemic as part of an investigation.

A barcode used for the Luca check-in app to trace possible Covid contacts at a Stuttgart restaurant.
A barcode used for the Luca check-in app to trace possible Covid contacts at a Stuttgart restaurant. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Marijan Murat

The case stemming from November last year began after the fatal fall of a man while leaving a restaurant in the western city of Mainz.

Police seeking possible witnesses made use of data from an app known as Luca, which was designed for patrons to register time spent in restaurants and taverns to track the possible spread of coronavirus.

Luca records the length of time spent at an establishment along with the patron’s full name, address and telephone number – all subject to Germany’s strict data protection laws.

However the police and local prosecutors in the case in Mainz successfully appealed to the municipal health authorities to gain access to information about 21 people who visited the restaurant at the same time as the man who died.

After an outcry, prosecutors apologised to the people involved and the local data protection authority has opened an inquiry into the affair.

“We condemn the abuse of Luca data collected to protect against infections,” said the company that developed the Luca app, culture4life, in a statement.

It added that it had received frequent requests for its data from the authorities which it routinely rejected.

Konstantin von Notz, a senior politician from the Greens, junior partners in the federal coalition, warned that abuse of the app could undermine public trust.

“We must not allow faith in digital apps, which are an important tool in the fight against Covid-19, to disappear,” he told Tuesday’s edition of Handelsblatt business daily.

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