A pair of Brits are fortunate to escape without injury after a wrong-way driving incident in Austria.
Also, a – very – quick look at Bugatti’s Grand Tour, and the ADAC publishes next year’s German ‘jam calendar’.
WRONG-WAY BRITS DRIVE 25KM IN AUSTRIA
Pair stopped after four tunnels and 25km on autobahn near Graz.
A pair of Brits managed to drive 25km the wrong way along an autobahn in southern Austria this morning.
The two – aged 61 and 56 according to local reports – drove through four tunnels on the A9 just south of Graz.
They were only stopped as they approached the fifth tunnel after the wrong-way alert system was activated. Fortunately no-one was injured.
The driver faces a charge of endangering safety on the road. An alcohol breath test was negative.
It is believed the incident occurred after refuelling, a classic scenario for driving on the wrong side of the road, according to received wisdom, following a short stop.
Wrong-way driving, or Ghost Driving (Geisterfahren) is a big problem on the Continent. Ironically it is rarely caused British drivers who are of course used to driving on the other side of the road.
The phenomenon is known as Conducteur Phantome in France and Spookrijders in the Netherlands.
Around seven incidents each day are recorded in Germany resulting in more than twenty deaths each year.
Last year the federal government announced a new research project into better ways to tackle the problem.
Currently the only preventative measure is a neon yellow ‘Falsch’ sign on slip roads.
The advice from the Belgian authorities when confronted with a wrong-way driver is to slow down, turn on headlights and hazard lights and move into the slow lane.
Scarily, ghost drivers apparently tend to veer to the right.
roundup: GERMANY. Motoring organisation ADAC has published its 2016 ‘jam calendar’, marking the days next year expected to have the heaviest traffic. It works on a scale of white-yellow-orange-red with the latter being the busiest. With traffic being generally very heavy by European standards, even on regular days, driving should be avoided on the worst days if possible. The first jam-fest will be Thursday 24 March followed by Wednesday 4 May and Friday 13 May. The summer season kicks off on Friday 15 July and lasts for every Friday and Saturday until Saturday 6 August. All goes quiet then until Friday 30 September, and from then until Friday 23 December. See more here.