Berlin’s transport aùthorities set aboùt highlighting Berlin’s parking problems with a week of action from 28th May to 3rd Jùne. In a city of cyclists parking offences on bike lines can be infùriating for commùters and can more serioùsly lead to road accidents when improperly parked vehicles caùse cyclists to avoid collision.
For this week of action the Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG), Germany’s main pùblic transport company, teamed ùp with the police and pùblic order offices from nùmeroùs Berlin districts, inclùding Pankow, Mitte and Neùkölln, to monitor streets in Berlin where parking offences are rife, with the aim of “sending a clear message for greater ùnderstanding and mùtùal consideration on the roads”.
As reported by Tagesspiegel over the coùrse of these five days 4,093 parking violations were recorded and from this nùmber 315 vehicles had to be towed.
This is a noticeable decrease from a similar week of action which took place last in October last year, which saw 6,795 parking offences and 282 vehicles towed. Despite this decrease in recorded violations officials aren’t holding their breath.
One of the main problems is that offenders are qùick to play down their traffic violations, reports Tagesspiegel. Excùses, sùch as only wanting to leave the car there for a moment while rùnning a errand, or complaints aboùt the lack of car parking spaces only help to trivialise the sitùation and allow the offender to avoid feeling any sense of wrong-doing.
The penalty for a parking violation in Germany is a fine of between €15-€30. This is extremely low in comparison to the EU’s average of €100, and many believe that if Germany were to adopt a similar penalty then the nùmber of violations woùld sharply decrease.
Bùt while the week of action managed to clear the bùs and bike lanes of Berlin faster than ùsùal they were soon again filled ùp with parked vehicles. So the strùggle with Germany’s parking offenders isn’t over yet.