Traffic Offences in Germany

metocman

Old-Salt
Just a quick question to the old and bold who know about being British Forces Germany.

I have just received a letter from Military Police telling me that an MOD mini bus I had signed for has been reported (with a photograph of the driver) driving too close to the vehicle in front. It happened last year when travelling through Germany on the way to Austria for Tri Service skiing and its only just surfaced now after six months. We were travelling in a convoy of four MOD mini buses(driven by SNCO's) and before we set off on the journey the Senor Officers decided that we would travel "in convoy". We stayed in convoy from Calais to Austria and rotated drivers frequently.

What's the chances of me saying in mitigation that we were ordered to drive in convoy and dodging a fine?
 
What does your MTO say or QM if not?
 

dontenn

War Hero
Take your punishment like a man or women
 

DaManBugs

On ROPS
On ROPs
Book Reviewer
You could just bluff it out and maintain that the driver drew a bit closer to the preceding vehicle for a coupla hundred metres, then realised that he was too close and fell back. Or you could state that the shorter distance between vehicles was to prevent other jam-jars, vans, lorries etc coming between the vehicles and breaking up the convoy which you'd been ordered to form.

Did a civvie bubble you, or what? It seems hardly worth pursuing, really, unless it was a typical Boxheed "Korinthenkacker". Never underestimate the obsession of a Boxheed when s/he believes her/himself to be "in the right". Boxheed cemeteries are full of folks who firmly, fanatically believed that they had right of way. Just saying, like.

MsG
 
Interesting, just had a quick read up on this. Fines kick off:

1. Starting at speeds exceeding 101 KPH,
2. The distance to be maintained shall not be closer than 30% of half the indicated speed in metres, not Km.

Example:

If travelling at 110 KPH then 50% = 55

30% of 55 = 16.5

Therefore if travelling at 110 KPH you should be no closer to the vehicle in front than 16.5 metres.

Points to note:

German nationals and residents they may fine or ban for one calendar month for this offence.

Note to the OP:

You can try kicking up to the OiC of the convoy and see if they will pay the fine. However, you were on adventure training, therefore effectively civilian vehicles who happened to be driven by soldiers. Further, ignorance of the law is no excuse as you should familiarise yourself with all local and national driving laws before kicking off a drive in a foreign country. I have seen international photo-enforced speed tickets arriving on the laps of squaddies for years, you have no exemption from the law so expect to pay the fine.

Geblitzt mit Abstandsmessung? So vermeiden Sie Punkte und Ärger
 
I have just received a letter from Military Police telling me that an MOD mini bus I had signed for has been reported (with a photograph of the driver) driving too close to the vehicle in front.

The fact that you had signed for said vehicle, was just so that there was a name should anything occur.

If there is a photograph of the driver, request this from RMP, explaining that due to the distance involved, drivers were rotated.

The fact that you were ordered to drive in convoy does not mitigate getting too close to the vehicle in front.

Get the photograph, and pass it, inside a card with a big smiley face on it, to the driver.

Alternatively, as all drivers were SNCO's, a whip round in the mess by those on the bus?

Go AWOL and join the FFL!
 
You would have completed the European Matrix prior to driving across Europe, you were legally in charge of the vehicle when you were driving. You were duty bound to be aware of the rules and regs of the road, be it military driving discipline or civil, no one regardless of rank can order you to break the law, it was up to you to have the moral courage to drive safely and in accordance with those laws, the safety of the passengers was your responsibility, if there had been an accident the Erics would’ve nailed you for it. Pay the fine, it was your fault.
 

metocman

Old-Salt
A few developments, I've seen the photo and although the quality is shit I'm 99.9% sure that's me. Also the time of the offence indicates it was me. After a bit of digging I think it will be a fine but no suspension on the license. I'll just have to take it on the chin and pay up and then put it down to experience.
 

Uglyfatgit

War Hero
When I was in Germany way back when, my WO2 had a 2CV, he used a phot sent to him as part of the speeding fine of it doing about 150km when he sold it to show how fast it went. Made us all laugh, but maybe you had to be there!
 
"...in convoy..."

Now, I'll hold my hand up and confess that it's been a lot of years since I last drove in convoy but when I did, spacing was mandated as 100m (out of town) and speed as maximum 50mph. Aside from providing room to manoeuvre if ambushed(!), the spacing also allowed other traffic to flow freely - a prime concern of the Polizei. Bunching up effectively creates a rolling road block and causes chaos at junctions/slip roads. The 50mph limit was there so that if you had a blow-out, there was less chance of spreading the vehicle and its contents all over the road.

Perhaps a wise move would be to ask the MTWO what parameters a convoy has to drive under per SOPs and ensure that the newly-gained knowledge is passed around other drivers.

I've just spent a little while finding the speed limit for minibuses in Germany and it appears to be 80kph (dual carriageway and Autobahns). If 101kph is the trigger for getting a spacing fine, it looks like you've either been lucky or there's a speeding fine in the post.
 

Dave-the-rave

War Hero
Involving Unterhosen, pencils, and... What is the German equivalent of "Wibble"?
That would be ''Vibble''. My mate was also on the bike sitting on the bar in front of me. I somehow convinced the court he was actually pedalling the bike and in control of the bike. Charges against me were dropped and he was never breathalysed so couldn't be charged. Strangely. I thought, we had nicked the bike but the Boabies were happy to ignore that so long as we put it back before it was noticed to be missing.
 
Involving Unterhosen, pencils, and... What is the German equivalent of "Wibble"?
If it is anything like the German word for "tank" there probably won't be room to fit it on the page... ;-)
 

DaManBugs

On ROPS
On ROPs
Book Reviewer
Involving Unterhosen, pencils, and... What is the German equivalent of "Wibble"?
"Geleiere", "Gelalle" or "Gesülze", almost always preceded by "leeres".

MsG
 
Just a quick question to the old and bold who know about being British Forces Germany.

I have just received a letter from Military Police telling me that an MOD mini bus I had signed for has been reported (with a photograph of the driver) driving too close to the vehicle in front. It happened last year when travelling through Germany on the way to Austria for Tri Service skiing and its only just surfaced now after six months. We were travelling in a convoy of four MOD mini buses(driven by SNCO's) and before we set off on the journey the Senor Officers decided that we would travel "in convoy". We stayed in convoy from Calais to Austria and rotated drivers frequently.

What's the chances of me saying in mitigation that we were ordered to drive in convoy and dodging a fine?
There is a statute of limitations in Germany on minor traffic offences of 3 months,§ 26 Abs. 3 des Straßenverkehrsgesetzes (StVG) Para 26 Section 3 of German Traffic Act . You say that you received a "letter" from the RMP, if that letter is not the actual Bußgeldbescheid (Fine Order) then it has not been served on you and therefore does not count., but that is too late anyway.
I assume that you are not stationed in Germany, otherwise this would be dealt with by the Criminal and Traffic Offences Branch (CTOB) in Bielefeld and you could get advice from Army Legal Aid.
By the way I rather doubt that the convoy argument would be accepted, Para 1 of the StVo (German Traffic Regulations) demands that all road users have to behave in such a manner as not to endanger,or inconvenience other road users.

20 years spent with the CTOB dealing with things like the above.
 

Krautman

War Hero
You could just bluff it out and maintain that the driver drew a bit closer to the preceding vehicle for a coupla hundred metres, then realised that he was too close and fell back. Or you could state that the shorter distance between vehicles was to prevent other jam-jars, vans, lorries etc coming between the vehicles and breaking up the convoy which you'd been ordered to form.

Did a civvie bubble you, or what? It seems hardly worth pursuing, really, unless it was a typical Boxheed "Korinthenkacker". Never underestimate the obsession of a Boxheed when s/he believes her/himself to be "in the right". Boxheed cemeteries are full of folks who firmly, fanatically believed that they had right of way. Just saying, like.

MsG
You, as usual know absolutely nothing. If he was photographed, it was likely the Police that took this photograph. The german courts are very clear about driving to close to other cars. It isn't simply allowed, no matter what. For military convoys there are other rules but the vehicles have to be flagged after STANAG 2154. I suppose that wasn't the case.
So for him the first and only rule in dealings with the police applies: Shut your gob and keep it shut.
Your fibs will bring him only into deeper shit.
 

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