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Unread 12-05-2007, 01:54 AM   #26
Stop the Madness!
 
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In germany if your involved in a fatal traffic accident you get charged with their version of murder 1 as well (if you survive)

Obviously there is a trial to prove your innocence of guilt after that.
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Unread 12-05-2007, 02:12 AM   #27
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German here...Noodles, I'm not sure about the fines being income-related; if so, 2 thumbs up, that'd be the smart way of handling things.
To get the license is not that hard, but friggin expensive. Back when I got mine, I had to pay around 2000 Deutschmarks, nowadays it's the same amount in Euros...the mutiple choice test is pretty easy to pass, the driving exam is harder, but also doable. Also, you don't really need two years to get there, usually it should take you something about 6 months, plus minus 1 or 2 months maybe.
The Autobahn is a cool thing, the less cool thing about it is that it is usually crowded as ...., especially with trucks; don't go there during the week unless you really, REALLY have to. That's why so much attention is paid to driver's education, it can get pretty hard to keep track of everything happening there.
Speed limits vary depending on street conditions or if there's roadworks going on, usually between 70 to 130 km/h.
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The German Autoban system is completely computerized and automated. They highways are stuffed full of electronic signs that are constantly changing to keep the driver abreast of what to expect ahead.
Not completely computerized, they're on their way there, but still far from completion; still, when installed, they make life easier.
Traffic density is a big problem over here, especially around the bigger cities, e.g. it's a major bitch driving in or around Stuttgart during rush hour. Lots of roadworks, lots of traffic, it just takes one broken truck to create huge backups, there were times this summer with traffic jams of 30km+ lengths.
But there are still uncrowded areas, and HELL YEAH it's fun going down the Autobahn without speed limits...:-).

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Unread 12-05-2007, 09:04 AM   #28
Fear the Polo!
 
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Originally Posted by noodles View Post
German traffic fines are not fixed rates. They are a sliding scale based on income. So, a ticket doesn't wreck the poor guy's finances, and the rich guy actually gets pissed off because of what he has to pay. The History Channel special I was watching on the Autoban said that the typical millionaire pays around $50,000 for a tailgating ticket.
Holy ....ing shit.

I think that's slight overkill, but I like the principle...

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Unread 12-05-2007, 10:13 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Drew View Post
Holy ....ing shit.

I think that's slight overkill, but I like the principle...
Well, they did say that fine was for someone who was worth tens of millions of dollars. Basically, to him, it was the equivelent of a $200 fine to a normal guy. Personally, I think it is an excellent way of making the law apply to everyone equally.

Around here, we have to worry about the Lexus and Mercedes drivers jumping in the car pool lanes, because they can afford the $125 ticket if they get caught. A scaled system would certainly eliminate that.

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Unread 12-05-2007, 10:32 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noodles View Post
Well, they did say that fine was for someone who was worth tens of millions of dollars. Basically, to him, it was the equivelent of a $200 fine to a normal guy. Personally, I think it is an excellent way of making the law apply to everyone equally.

Around here, we have to worry about the Lexus and Mercedes drivers jumping in the car pool lanes, because they can afford the $125 ticket if they get caught. A scaled system would certainly eliminate that.


That would be a most excellent system for all fines.
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