Jaywalking in Germany - Dangers and possible fines

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German wife tells me that I'm dicing with death and the polizei by jaywalking constantly. 

 

Is she right about the polizei? Can and do they fine people for jaywalking? 

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Yes, I still have the fine from when I was caught jaywalking in Frankfurt.

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How much was the fine? Any mercy shown to foreigners who can't speak much German? 

 

What's the actual rule? If there is an ampelmann within X distance, then you must use it when its green, or you're breaking the law? 

 

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It was 5 DM, so a long time ago.

 

I don't know the rules today, but I try to cross busy roads at the lights when the green man is lighting, I learned my lesson early on :)

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I also try to do that, but if the coast is clear and the man is still red, I'm walking! 

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14 minutes ago, CustomX said:

I also try to do that, but if the coast is clear and the man is still red, I'm walking! 

And do you do that when a child is standing near you? 

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4 minutes ago, rhody said:

And do you do that when a child is standing near you? 

In cases like this my late BiL would have shouted "Kindermörder" at you.

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35 minutes ago, CustomX said:

What's the actual rule? If there is an ampelmann within X distance, then you must use it when its green, or you're breaking the law? 

 

X=100m according to what I learnt in driving school

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I asked pretty much the same question a few years ago.

I've been stopped once and threatened with a fine, but was let off. Possibly because I spoke to them in English, but maybe not.

I continue to do it, but now in addition to considering the traffic I also consider the police.

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It's a cultural thing.  Here, they will bitch at you that you're a bad example to the kiddies.  Or just because they're over 60 and they pull that crabby-all-the-time card.

 

When I lived in Montreal, I found it was completely the other way around.  A red Don't Walk sign was interpreted as "Look both ways, and if it's safe, cross, you idiot.  Don't you know you're knee-deep in mud and slush?"

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It's a matter of common sense. Jaywalking in any country is a misdemeanor but the police normally have more important things to do than hide behind bushes to catch people safely doing this. Personally, I find it extremely dangerous here that people, including children, walk in front of my car when the man is green without even looking and checking whether I am going to stop. New Yorkers do this without even thinking about it and most drivers know how to use the brake.

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I don't understand jaywalkers. The only excuse that you in a so big hurry that you can't wait is that you either work for police, ambulance or fire brigade.

And with smartphones these days you can answer important emails while waiting at red light. Why in the world would a man jaywalk?

 

PS New York is just idiotically organized. There should not be traffic lights on every crossroad, no wonder that people ignore them.

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17 minutes ago, Acton said:

Jaywalking in any country is a misdemeanor 

 

British, French, Finnish, Danish and Swedish have no legal requirement to use crossings and you can ignore the little red man as long as you are not impeding traffic.   Any other countries where you can jaywalk?  

 

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35 minutes ago, Acton said:

It's a matter of common sense. Jaywalking in any country is a misdemeanor

 

 

Erm, no, but snowingagain already called you out on that one out.

 

35 minutes ago, Acton said:

Personally, I find it extremely dangerous here that people, including children, walk in front of my car when the man is green without even looking and checking whether I am going to stop.

 

I completely agree, which is part of why I think it is ridiculous to have a jaywalking law in the first place. Much better to teach people to use their own senses, including the common sense. I will happily cross the road when the little man is red once I've assessed the traffic situation and am confident it is safe to do so. Likewise I will happily cross the road when the little man is green, once I've assessed the traffic situation and am confident it is safe to do so.

 

29 minutes ago, yourkeau said:

I don't understand jaywalkers. The only excuse that you in a so big hurry that you can't wait is that you either work for police, ambulance or fire brigade.

And with smartphones these days you can answer important emails while waiting at red light. Why in the world would a man jaywalk?

 

Of course, nobody else could possibly be in a hurry! Nobody ever leaves the house a bit later than they should and has to catch a tram, or make an appointment. And the sun always starts shining and warms to a cosy temperature when the little man turns red. Nobody other than the emergency services could ever have anything they'd rather be doing than standing there pointlessly while no traffic approaches.

 

Not sure where the important emails come in though - if I am trying to cross the road, chances are I'm not even aware of any important emails that might need my attention, and very few emails are so important I would even care about answering them before sitting down.

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29 minutes ago, plantwhisperer said:

Of course, nobody else could possibly be in a hurry! Nobody ever leaves the house a bit later than they should and has to catch a tram, or make an appointment. And the sun always starts shining and warms to a cosy temperature when the little man turns red. Nobody other than the emergency services could ever have anything they'd rather be doing than standing there pointlessly while no traffic approaches.

 

I didn't understand what you excuse other than "shitty planning" is. I can offer you a game: 1 km walk, the same starting time, the same route. You jaywalk as you please, I will strictly follow the lights. What the time difference will be? I bet I will be either faster or this difference will be minimal. Do you by chance one of those impatient drivers who honk their horns if you dare to stand at green light for more than 0,5 second?

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@yourkeau It's breathtakingly simple. Green means cross with caution, red means cross with extreme caution.

 

I bet you're one of those idiots who darts across the road as soon as the pedestrian light is green with your head buried in your phone answering important Emails.

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Anyone remember the story about that German family?  They were on holiday in America and due to a malfunctioning traffic light they waited for 9 hours and 48 minutes before someone fixed it and they crossed the road. It's even in the Guinness Book of Records! 

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1 hour ago, yourkeau said:

I don't understand jaywalkers.

It's the easiest thing in the world to understand. It's a complete non issue. It's not black and white because every situation is different but it's not something to get riled up about. Let people assess the situation and make their choices, it doesn't effect you.

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