Speeding Ticket in Germany

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Aug 25th, 2003, 07:06 PM
  #1
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Speeding Ticket in Germany

Returned from my European trip two months ago but received a speeding ticket in the mail last week. Looks like I got caught by a camera on the autobahn. Should I pay it?
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Aug 25th, 2003, 07:08 PM
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Putting the moral issues aside...

1. Were you driving a rental car? If so, the company may charge your credit card for the ticket if it ends up coming back to them. (At least so I was advised recently by Avis in Italy.)

2. Do you ever plan to return to Germany?
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Aug 25th, 2003, 07:22 PM
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Ah, yes. Radarkontrolle. Another great reason to take the train.
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Aug 25th, 2003, 08:19 PM
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Ah, yes. Got the ticket backtracking at 10-12pm to pick up a purse left at a gasthaus. Like to see you try that on a train.
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Aug 26th, 2003, 01:44 AM
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Radarkontrolle, another reason to respect speed limit !
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Aug 26th, 2003, 02:16 AM
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vivaldi
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Do the right thing and pay it.
 
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Aug 26th, 2003, 03:38 AM
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TWO DAYS before we moved from Belgium back to the States, we got a ticket in the mail. We had already cleared out our house....shipped all our stuff.....cleared everything, ready to fly back. We were only staying those last 2 days so we could visit with friends before we left.

So we get this envelope, which was mailed to our house (our landlord contacted us and told us that we had some mail). Opened it, and it was a ticket, supposedly for failing to stop a month before at a certain stop sign, which had been in a construction area near our base. No picture, but a statement from a Gendarme that he had witnessed our transgression himself.

Our first thought was "NO WAY!" Our second thought was "CRAP CRAP CRAP CRAP what are we gonna do??"

Took the ticket to a local Gendarmerie and explained to the policeman at the desk that we had gotten this ticket and asked if we could pay it right away, as we were scheduled to fly out in 2 days, probably never to return.

He said that there was no way we could do that. Apparently, according to this Gendarme, in Belgium one cannot simply pay a ticket and go on. He said all tickets, regardless of what they are for, require the driver to appear before a traffic judge, and that we probably could not do that for at least a couple of months. (In our experience in Belgium EVERYTHING requiring immediate action or processing is at least a couple of months behind. Drove us nuts while we lived there.)

So we stood there, looking at this policeman, thinking ok, what do we do now? We apparently can't pay the ticket off....we fly out in 2 days....we're NOT going to fly back over at our expense, just to appear before some judge for 10 minutes and then turn around and fly back to the States, again at our own expense...WHAT DO WE DO NOW?

The Gendarme asked one more time, "When are you scheduled to fly out?" We told him, in 2 days. He shrugged, said "OH WELL." And then he, with no request or prompting from us, TORE THE TICKET UP right in front of us and his colleague, who had been standing by listening to our sad story.

We gasped with surprise, and asked if we would get in trouble for not taking care of the ticket. He shrugged and said, "You're not coming back, so it doesn't matter. But if you ever DO come back to Belgium...." and again he shrugged.

So now we are nervous about ever being stationed in Belgium. Will we be considered petty criminals? Will we be banned from driving there? Who knows. I hope we never have to find out!

My advice: Pay the ticket and avoid the uncertainty.
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Aug 26th, 2003, 04:05 AM
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Just curious...How much is the fine?

Also, it had to pass thru the rental agency; how else would they know your name and address? And it'll be in their (and others'?) records for future reference, won't it?
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Aug 26th, 2003, 05:15 AM
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This reminded me of an incident regarding tickets and rental cars.
My husband and I were in England. We arrived back to our parking lot later than what we had paid for and now had a ticket.
I wanted to pay it and be done and the fine was $40. My mate thought we should forget about it.
Of course, when we received our Visa bill the next month there was an additional charge for the ticket, but now the ticket was $120.00!
Pay it and be done.
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Aug 26th, 2003, 05:27 AM
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If it's any consolation, two of our German relatives racked up so many speeding tickets this winter that they both had their licenses suspended for a month.
OTOH, we were in Aachen last December and picked up a parking ticket (it was Christmas market season and parking was impossible--apparently we parked on a residents only street). We didn't pay the ticket and eventually we received in the mail not another ticket but an offer to waive the ticket if we filled out and returned an attached survey on why we broke the parking regulation.
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Aug 26th, 2003, 05:38 AM
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I once got a German speeding ticket and I wasn't even in Germany at the time!

It turned out that my German nephew claimed it was not he - it was his uncle - driving the car.

(He got away with it.)
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Aug 26th, 2003, 05:44 AM
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Personally, I would pay it. I wouldn't be able to stand something like that hanging over my head.

I have a similar story to Brimham. Shortly after moving to the Dutch West Indies, I was told by a police officer that he was issuing me a ticket, and that I would receive it in the mail shortly.

Well, months came and went with no ticket. So, I traipsed down to the police station, trying to be a good citizen in a foreign country. All the police officers got a really big laugh when I requested why I had yet to receive my ticket in the mail (I thought maybe it had gotten lost).

After their big "guffaws" at my honesty, they politely told me to go home and not give it another thought. Whew! I think that in the long run, honesty is the best policy.

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Aug 26th, 2003, 05:47 AM
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how fast do you have to go to get a speeding ticket in Germany? LOL

(I went 200 KPH on the autobahn and loved every minute of it - and I wasn't exactly blowing doors off of folks, nor do I recall seeing a speed limit sign).

if you got it in the mail at home - they found you. pay it.
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Aug 26th, 2003, 07:09 AM
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We got a parking ticket in Montreal. We were at a cafe and apparently the meter ran out. We were notified by the rental car agency what we owed and we did pay it. Assumed if we didn't they would charge the credit card we used to rent the car. Might as well do the right thing! O
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Aug 26th, 2003, 07:56 AM
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You earned it, you should pay it.
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Aug 26th, 2003, 08:20 AM
  #16
AR
 
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Just as an aside - The number of speed cameras in the UK have reached epidemic proportions. The feeling is that it is an income generation policy as police forces are allowed keep the money generated (which is supposed to be put back into road safety !! ha!!).
Anyway, my point is that the UK police do not chase foreign registered cars for any fines as it costs more to pursue than the amount of the fine gathered.
As the German police are hardly likely to seek an extradition, I would ignore it - and well done for beating the system.
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Aug 26th, 2003, 09:07 AM
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In Italy the number of speed cameras and radar has also increased since end of 2003 .
Police is now entitled not to stop you in case of speeding, you (or your rental agency) will just receive your nice photo by mail.

Fine amounts on the spot are as follows,
Speeding : 10-40 Km/h over speed limit € 137.55; 40+ over speed limit € 343.45.
Drink & drive : € 1032
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Aug 26th, 2003, 09:13 AM
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I didn't know they had speed restrictions on highways over there! You really must have been flying! BMW?
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Aug 26th, 2003, 10:33 AM
  #19
jor
 
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Pay for it and put the cancelled check on the shelf with your travel memorebilea. It will symbolize your fast times in Germany.

If the check never gets cashed, you tried, and you have the moral high ground.
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Aug 26th, 2003, 10:38 AM
  #20
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.....and how else could you get certified proof that you were speeding on the fastest, best engineered highway system in the world? Its definately worth the price!
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