Speedy Craigzales

I’ve been in Leipzig for just over a month now, and I was sincerely hoping I’d have some of my own blunders to share with you, but unfortunately nothing all that exciting or embarrassing has happened to me yet. Luckily, even though Craig has been in the country for a few months now, he’s still managing to experience some quandaries.

A couple weeks ago Craig received a little something special in the mail from the German government… Craig Ticket…a speeding ticket!

Nobody likes a speeding ticket, but you do have to appreciate how the Germans have managed to completely eliminate the middle man. I have yet to see a cop issue anyone a ticket (except for when someone parked illegally and blocked our apartment driveway); instead, they use speed sensors to do the job for them and mail the bill directly to the perpetrator. Such speed traps are all over town and are fairly well hidden by other distractions in the intersection, take, for instance, this one that caught Craig:


Reading through the ticket, it turns out Craig was going a whopping 8 kilometers per hour (<5 mph) faster than the posted speed limit! Typically in the US you wouldn’t even get pulled over for that, or in the unlikely chance you did get pulled over, you’d probably be let off with a warning. Not in Germany – those who break the rules must pay!

Because of the low threshold for writing up speeders, getting a speeding ticket is apparently very common in Germany. When Craig told his co-workers about it, they cheered and celebrated the rite of passage with him. Craig couldn’t be too upset about it; the hefty fine was only €15! (With no points on his driving record, thankfully.)

3 thoughts on “Speedy Craigzales

  1. swanpride says:

    Well, Craig was a little bit faster than that. They always subtract a few kilometres, so I guess he was around 12 kilometres too fast.

    And yes, we have police officers who pull you over, too (after all, drivers who always use the same routes know exactly were the traps are). At the autobahn or a country road they sometimes even pull you over and show you a video to demonstrate you, how dangerous your driving was (naturally not if you go a little bit faster than allowed, this kind of control is for people which seriously endanger other drivers.)

    In general it is very helpful to listen to the local radio. They always rat the police out and tell the drivers where they might get a ticket if they are not careful.


    • beckymarkovitz says:

      Haha, so I guess he deserved it afterall! I didn’t mean that I didn’t think cops pulled people over at all, just that they’ve managed to save time (and probably money) by automating these little, mostly harmless infractions. I’ll let Craig know to start listening to the radio! Thanks, SwanPride! I always appreciate your German insights!


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