Germany: the overwhelming number of migrants mean next year’s ‘Speed Blitz’ 24 hour anti-speed campaign has been cancelled already – and what about the pan-European event held on the same day?
Also, trucks 7.5t and above are now included in the electronic toll system. Chronic delays dog the border with Austria, and there’s no end in sight. Busy roads this weekend for the first autumn holidays. The first ‘autonomous’ truck takes to the A8 near Stuttgart.
MIGRANT CRISIS CANCELS GERMAN SPEED BLITZ
Reassigned police officers mean not enough to run anti-speed day.
An overstretched police service means next spring’s ‘Blitz Marathon’ 24 hour anti speed campaign has been cancelled already.
With 280,000 refugee migrants having arrived so far this month alone, traffic officers are being reassigned to manage the influx, and maintain order in temporary housing.
A letter from several state’s Interior Ministers seen by n-tv (via Breitbart.com) says, ‘Due to the unpredictable evolution of the refugee situation and the resulting duties of the police, it was unanimously decided by all members that preparations for the next transnational speed control event should be halted.’
Meanwhile, the head of the German police union also told Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten this week that, because of the manning issues, a general increase in traffic offences was to be expected.
Germany is one of a number of European countries already struggling with worsening road safety.
This year’s ‘Speed Blitz’ (aka ‘Blitz Marathon’), held in April, was the first time the concept was expanded beyond Germany. It started in western state Nord Rhein Westphalia in 2012.
The idea is to hold a well-publicised, all-hands-on-deck one day blitz on speeding drivers using handheld and fixed speed cameras.
Co-ordinated by European police federation TISPOL, and taking place in 22 EU countries, of the 122,581 drivers fined this year, just over 91,000 of those were in Germany.
TISPOL did not immediately respond to an enquiry about whether the cancelled German operation would affect plans for next year’s pan-Europe campaign.
roundup: BORDERS. There are no signs yet that the recently reinstated border controls with Austria are being scaled down, nor is there any published date for their removal. Under the border-free Schengen Zone rules, Germany can reinstate checks during a ‘serious threat to public policy or internal security’ for up to thirty days; they were first restarted on 13 September. So far this week, chronic delays of around thirty minutes have built up at the A1-A10/A8 border crossing near Salzburg towards Munich, and A8/A3 towards Passau, rising to more than one hour at peak times. The A12/A93 Innsbruck-Munich motorway has also seen regular queues at Kufstein. Less affected has been the A14/A96 border at Bregenz-Lindau though freight traffic is reduced here during the maintenance closure of the Arlberg Tunnel. As far as we can tell, the minor crossings such as the B179 Fernpass and B187/B2 at Garmisch Partenkirchen have not been affected. TRAFFIC. The fortnight autumn holiday kicking off in Nord Rhien Westphalia in the west, and Thuringia in central Germany – and the national day ‘Day of German Unity’ celebrations on Saturday – will see the first raised traffic levels after the summer this weekend says ADAC. Queues will not reach summer proportions but with dry and sunny weather expected over the weekend, popular destinations such as the Harz and Sauerland mountains, around the Baltic coast and south to Italy and Austria are sure to be busy. TRUCKS. Mercedes-Benz tested a ‘series production’ autonomous truck on public roads for the first time today, along nine miles of the A8 between Stuttgart and Daimler headquarters at Denkendorf, in Baden-Wurttemburg south west Germany. The standard Actros was equipped with the ‘Highway Pilot’ which works via front-mounted radar, and a stereo camera which reads road markings, alongside adaptive cruise control. It is able to steer itself, and stop if warning signals are ignored, but the driver retains full responsibility and must be able to intervene at any time. Mercedes has special permission from Baden-Wurttemburg to drive ‘autonomously’ at up to 80kmh. For further tests elsewhere in Germany or the EU, regulations which currently limit speeds to 10kmh will have to be amended. See here for more information or here for the live webcast of the event.