Woops!!!. Germans being damm efficent

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SarahJ
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Woops!!!. Germans being damm efficent

Post by SarahJ » Sun Dec 02, 2018 10:54

Just under two weeks back home and what should pop through my door, 14 days. A speeding fine from Germany. I was caught by camera doing 118 kmh on a 100kmh section of the A3 south of cologne. Camera takes two pics, your reg and a pic of the driver. The fine is only 30 euros, but for some reason the money transfer place has sent 29.94. I'm thinking find a 10 cent coin and post it to them.
As for the speeding, yes, I was. I was doing around 160-200 just before hand and the limit drops for a incline. Here: https://c1.staticflickr.com/4/3022/3769 ... a332_b.jpg, but impressive that they managed to sort it out, discover who i was and post it out in 2 weeks. :?

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Euan
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Re: Woops!!!. Germans being damm efficent

Post by Euan » Sun Dec 02, 2018 16:16

Many German autobahns do not have any speed limit whatsoever and where they do they are no greater than 130km/h. I reckon you must have been entering an urban area with a 100km/h limit, not really ideal without some sort of speed restriction beforehand to allow a gradual slow down. Be thankful it was just a €30 penalty though, I'm sure that in many other places you would have been fined much more! But then such a small fine isn't exactly much of an incentive to slow down, is it?
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Re: Woops!!!. Germans being damm efficent

Post by roadtester » Sun Dec 02, 2018 16:31

Euan wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 16:16
Many German autobahns do not have any speed limit whatsoever and where they do they are no greater than 130km/h. I reckon you must have been entering an urban area with a 100km/h limit, not really ideal without some sort of speed restriction beforehand to allow a gradual slow down. Be thankful it was just a €30 penalty though, I'm sure that in many other places you would have been fined much more! But then such a small fine isn't exactly much of an incentive to slow down, is it?
Actually - there are lots of limits (about 40 per cent of the network) and plenty on the A3 between Cologne and Frankfurt which doesn't go through urban areas on that stretch.

The A3 is a bit of a roller coaster with some quite steep gradients and sharpish bends thanks to the hilly terrain. Over the years, it has been widened but without a corresponding effort to straighten it or ease the gradients. You can get a bit of an impression of this from the photo Sarah has posted. More limits have been brought in to try to keep things safe.
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Vierwielen
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Re: Woops!!!. Germans being damm efficent

Post by Vierwielen » Wed Dec 05, 2018 22:13

SarahJ wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 10:54
Just under two weeks back home and what should pop through my door, 14 days. A speeding fine from Germany. I was caught by camera doing 118 kmh on a 100kmh section of the A3 south of cologne. Camera takes two pics, your reg and a pic of the driver. The fine is only 30 euros, but for some reason the money transfer place has sent 29.94. I'm thinking find a 10 cent coin and post it to them.
As for the speeding, yes, I was. I was doing around 160-200 just before hand and the limit drops for a incline. Here: https://c1.staticflickr.com/4/3022/3769 ... a332_b.jpg, but impressive that they managed to sort it out, discover who i was and post it out in 2 weeks. :?
Were you driving a UK-reg car? If so, who was photographed? I heard that in Germany, the passenger's face is pixelled out in such pictures as the fact that they were in your car is an invasion of their privacy. This came about when a Brit was photographed, paid the fine and then put a model muppet in the [left-hand] passenger's seat and proceded to go through every red light that he could.

It is of course possible that that their photography has got more clever and detects British (and Irish) number plates and adjusts accordingly.

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Re: Woops!!!. Germans being damm efficent

Post by FosseWay » Thu Dec 06, 2018 07:20

The Germans aren't all that efficient. I was fully expecting at least one ticket from my mad dash from Basel to Kiel in August (in a LHD, Swedish-registered car, so I can't escape the camera). But not having heard anything by now, I figure I'm in the clear.

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Re: Woops!!!. Germans being damm efficent

Post by SarahJ » Thu Dec 06, 2018 15:52

Vierwielen wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 22:13
SarahJ wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 10:54
Just under two weeks back home and what should pop through my door, 14 days. A speeding fine from Germany. I was caught by camera doing 118 kmh on a 100kmh section of the A3 south of cologne. Camera takes two pics, your reg and a pic of the driver. The fine is only 30 euros, but for some reason the money transfer place has sent 29.94. I'm thinking find a 10 cent coin and post it to them.
As for the speeding, yes, I was. I was doing around 160-200 just before hand and the limit drops for a incline. Here: https://c1.staticflickr.com/4/3022/3769 ... a332_b.jpg, but impressive that they managed to sort it out, discover who i was and post it out in 2 weeks. :?
Were you driving a UK-reg car? If so, who was photographed? I heard that in Germany, the passenger's face is pixelled out in such pictures as the fact that they were in your car is an invasion of their privacy. This came about when a Brit was photographed, paid the fine and then put a model muppet in the [left-hand] passenger's seat and proceded to go through every red light that he could.

It is of course possible that that their photography has got more clever and detects British (and Irish) number plates and adjusts accordingly.
I was driving my UK reg car and the picture taken from the right side clearly shows me driving. There was no passenger.

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Re: Woops!!!. Germans being damm efficent

Post by Vierwielen » Fri Dec 07, 2018 17:11

Euan wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 16:16
Many German autobahns do not have any speed limit whatsoever and where they do they are no greater than 130km/h. I reckon you must have been entering an urban area with a 100km/h limit, not really ideal without some sort of speed restriction beforehand to allow a gradual slow down. Be thankful it was just a €30 penalty though, I'm sure that in many other places you would have been fined much more! But then such a small fine isn't exactly much of an incentive to slow down, is it?
I had a more peasant experience of German efficientcy a few years ago. I umpire cricket matches (including junior country level matches) and also tutor A Level physics and maths. I order to do this, I need to have my DBS certificate reviewed every three years (to make sure that I have not been mis-behaving with little boys). Three years ago, my review was delayed when I wrote on the form that I had spent six months working in Germany. As soon as I was told that I needed the German police to give me clearance, I hit the internet. The next day I went up to the German consulate (attached to the German embassy), where my passport was photocopied and the relevant forms filled in giving my address in Germany for which I paid €25. My certificate of good conduct came back within a week.

(I was initially tempted to try to hide the fact that I had worked in Germany as a freelancer, but I realised that the tax office knew I was there as they had issued me with a certificate allowing me to remain on the UK tax and NI system for up to two years while working in Germany - an EU-wide arrangement for employees from one country who work in another country, but whose employer has no base there).

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Re: Woops!!!. Germans being damm efficent

Post by Berk » Sat Dec 08, 2018 19:01

SarahJ wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 10:54
Just under two weeks back home and what should pop through my door, 14 days. A speeding fine from Germany. I was caught by camera doing 118 kmh on a 100kmh section of the A3 south of cologne. Camera takes two pics, your reg and a pic of the driver. The fine is only 30 euros, but for some reason the money transfer place has sent 29.94. I'm thinking find a 10 cent coin and post it to them.
As for the speeding, yes, I was. I was doing around 160-200 just before hand and the limit drops for a incline. Here: https://c1.staticflickr.com/4/3022/3769 ... a332_b.jpg, but impressive that they managed to sort it out, discover who i was and post it out in 2 weeks. :?
How did you pay the infringement, did you do a money transfer?? When I was stopped in New Zealand, I just paid it by credit card as soon as I got home. Didn’t even wait for the notices to arrive (although they came later that week).

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Re: Woops!!!. Germans being damm efficent

Post by M4 Cardiff » Sun Dec 09, 2018 12:37

So the German police pursue your speeding ticket in the UK once you have got home then?

Maybe a friend of mine got really lucky in France earlier in the year and got flashed by a couple of fixed cameras, but never had any fines come through.
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Re: Woops!!!. Germans being damm efficent

Post by Andy P » Sun Dec 09, 2018 22:33

The last speeding fine I got in Germany a couple of years ago (in my German car), the picture of me was so indistinct that it could almost have been anybody. The picture didn't extend to the passenger side, so either they only photographed the left hand side, or it was cropped.

I might have been inclined to challenge it, but it really was me driving, and the fine was only €10, so I paid up relatively cheerfully.

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Re: Woops!!!. Germans being damm efficent

Post by Bertiebus » Fri Dec 14, 2018 22:02

FosseWay wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 07:20
The Germans aren't all that efficient. I was fully expecting at least one ticket from my mad dash from Basel to Kiel in August (in a LHD, Swedish-registered car, so I can't escape the camera). But not having heard anything by now, I figure I'm in the clear.
And yet recently in dear old inefficient Blighty, I forgot to pay the Dartford Crossing charge until 48 hours later, by which time I had gone over it again, so I paid for both crossings at once and still got a red letter about the first crossing.

Oh no, hang on, of course it IS dear old inefficient Blighty... because I rang the number to point out that (a) the red letter was dated and had been issued after I paid up, (b) it took me three goes to press the right number for the right person to speak to (because the messages don't give you an option to choose to speak to someone) and, when I did eventually get to speak to someone and explained that I had owed 2 x £2.50=£5 and I'd paid £5, (c) I was told that I would have to pay another £2.50 and either keep one of the (now three) paid £2.50s for a future crossing or have it refunded to the same credit card I'd just paid the third £2.50 with.

How much did producing the letter, the postage and both my and the girl on the phone's time cost to go through this hoopla, all for something that I had already paid.

"Oh but sir, it's the way the system works..."

Honestly, this country... :hissy:

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Re: Woops!!!. Germans being damm efficent

Post by Vierwielen » Mon Dec 17, 2018 21:08

Bertiebus wrote:
Fri Dec 14, 2018 22:02
FosseWay wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 07:20
The Germans aren't all that efficient. I was fully expecting at least one ticket from my mad dash from Basel to Kiel in August (in a LHD, Swedish-registered car, so I can't escape the camera). But not having heard anything by now, I figure I'm in the clear.
And yet recently in dear old inefficient Blighty, I forgot to pay the Dartford Crossing charge until 48 hours later, by which time I had gone over it again, so I paid for both crossings at once and still got a red letter about the first crossing.

Oh no, hang on, of course it IS dear old inefficient Blighty... because I rang the number to point out that (a) the red letter was dated and had been issued after I paid up, (b) it took me three goes to press the right number for the right person to speak to (because the messages don't give you an option to choose to speak to someone) and, when I did eventually get to speak to someone and explained that I had owed 2 x £2.50=£5 and I'd paid £5, (c) I was told that I would have to pay another £2.50 and either keep one of the (now three) paid £2.50s for a future crossing or have it refunded to the same credit card I'd just paid the third £2.50 with.

How much did producing the letter, the postage and both my and the girl on the phone's time cost to go through this hoopla, all for something that I had already paid.

"Oh but sir, it's the way the system works..."

Honestly, this country... :hissy:
Moral of the story - write a letter. If a debt collector debt does try to chase things up, refer to your payments and to your letter. If they persist, threaten them with demands with menaces, but make sure that yo uhave a copy of everything that was sent to them.

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Re: Woops!!!. Germans being damm efficent

Post by Berk » Tue Dec 18, 2018 03:29

With the Dartford system, it would be far easier to pay the “outstanding” crossing, and claim the overpayment back. Rather than go down the “flat Earther”/Brexiteer route of denial and disbelief. Whilst dodging debt collectors.

I know their system is broke, I’ve been there. It doesn’t acknowledge pre-payment (you can’t pay in advance for a crossing you’re going to make, always has to be afterward). Or after-afterwards, in this case. I’m guessing each crossing has a payment reference, which is why pre-payment, or late post-payment doesn’t work, because they can’t be linked automatically.

And yes, I’ve claimed back that refund (at the 11. hour - or month, in my case). :wink:

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Re: Woops!!!. Germans being damm efficent

Post by Vierwielen » Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:23

One of the easiest ways around the problems concerned is for all the various organisations that collect small payments from motorists such as toll companies, congestion charge etc to band together and to have a common payment system based on the Congestion Charge approach whereby there are multiple outlets where one can make one's payment. This could be extended to ATMs making it possible for mtorists to make payments at service areas..

When any vehicle with a non-UK numberplate approaches a customs post, their numberplate would be checked against the database and outstanding money collected.

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Berk
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Re: Woops!!!. Germans being damm efficent

Post by Berk » Fri Jan 11, 2019 20:28

I think Dart Charge does just that - although it is run by the government rather than TfL. So that’s two separate schemes already.

In order for such a scheme to operate, I think the schemes’ management’s would have to subcontract collection activity out to one firm - probably TfL’s people (do they use Capita??).

In practice, now the Severn Crossing’s gone, you’re only still looking at the Mersey Gateway Bridge, the Humber Bridge, Mersey and Tyne Tunnels. Not to mention the M6 Toll. That last one could be problematic, due to the concession.

The concession is now a free-standing firm, I believe. MEL - who built the motorway - are merely the operators.

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Re: Woops!!!. Germans being damm efficent

Post by Vierwielen » Mon Jan 14, 2019 22:34

Vierwielen wrote:
Fri Dec 07, 2018 17:11
Euan wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 16:16
Many German autobahns do not have any speed limit whatsoever and where they do they are no greater than 130km/h. I reckon you must have been entering an urban area with a 100km/h limit, not really ideal without some sort of speed restriction beforehand to allow a gradual slow down. Be thankful it was just a €30 penalty though, I'm sure that in many other places you would have been fined much more! But then such a small fine isn't exactly much of an incentive to slow down, is it?
I had a more pleasant experience of German efficiency a few years ago. I umpire cricket matches (including junior country level matches) and also tutor A Level physics and maths. I order to do this, I need to have my DBS certificate reviewed every three years (to make sure that I have not been mis-behaving with little boys). Three years ago, my review was delayed when I wrote on the form that I had spent six months working in Germany. As soon as I was told that I needed the German police to give me clearance, I hit the internet. The next day I went up to the German consulate (attached to the German embassy), where my passport was photocopied and the relevant forms filled in giving my address in Germany for which I paid €25. My certificate of good conduct came back within a week.

(I was initially tempted to try to hide the fact that I had worked in Germany as a freelancer, but I realised that the tax office knew I was there as they had issued me with a certificate allowing me to remain on the UK tax and NI system for up to two years while working in Germany - an EU-wide arrangement for employees from one country who work in another country, but whose employer has no base there).

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Re: Woops!!!. Germans being damm efficent

Post by Vierwielen » Mon Jan 14, 2019 22:35

Euan wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 16:16
Many German autobahns do not have any speed limit whatsoever and where they do they are no greater than 130km/h. I reckon you must have been entering an urban area with a 100km/h limit, not really ideal without some sort of speed restriction beforehand to allow a gradual slow down. Be thankful it was just a €30 penalty though, I'm sure that in many other places you would have been fined much more! But then such a small fine isn't exactly much of an incentive to slow down, is it?
Many autobahns have a 100 km/h speed limit at a "Kreuz" - the Germans differentiate between autobahns exits (Ausgang) and interchanges between two autobahns (Kreuz).

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Re: Woops!!!. Germans being damm efficent

Post by baroudeur » Tue Jan 15, 2019 16:26

Berk wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 20:28
I think Dart Charge does just that - although it is run by the government rather than TfL. So that’s two separate schemes already.
It's owned by the government but run by a subsidiary of the French Autoroute operator SANEF.

Dart Charge website accepts payments made in advance online or by phone

"Pay for crossings that you have made since 6am yesterday morning or for crossings you are due to make in the next 12 months."

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Re: Woops!!!. Germans being damm efficent

Post by Berk » Sun Jan 20, 2019 01:04

But the system doesn’t work - for prepay, at least. The money just sits there, because the system isn’t capable of allocating it beforehand.

Correction: I see how the system is supposed to work, you have to go online to pre-pay for your crossing. Paying by phone doesn’t work that way.

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