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.
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.)