Jaywalking in Germany - Dangers and possible fines

176 posts in this topic

Cars in my area have  major negative impact on the children who live here. Instead of the land surrounding most flats being meadows children can play in the land is used primarily as parking lots with cars coming through at any time. So, children are in day jails from the time they can walk rather than roaming freely in the neighborhood, which was the norm when there were fewer cars. Many children in my area lack enough chance to freely play outside.

 

So, in my view the problem is in some areas not so much jaywalking but rather letting prioritizing cars over children in areas densely populated by children. 

If cars were excluded from some areas in city and town centers.. I propose my area of Bundestrasse near the ETV club, then it would make life much better for the thousands of children who live and go to school and after.school sports in the area. 

 

Some of the space could even be used for a couple more class containers reducing long commutes by some of the children who live her to other areas of the city as the local schools do not have capacity for many of the local children. 

 

 

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6 hours ago, lisa13 said:

Damn...I know TT needs a good hot button topic to argue about but jaywalking?

 

REALLY?

Actually, I think that this minor, narrow issue is fascinating in that it speaks volumes about cultural differences between Germany and other places--there are really noticeable differences in attitudes among countries:

  • When I lived in Bavaria many years ago, I remember being shocked by the fact that at 2am, as I was walking home from the bars, without a car anywhere in sight, the locals would actually stand patiently waiting for the signal to walk and would not infrequently glare/comment when you dared jaywalk--jaywalking seems to be considered "morally wrong" in some way.  In Berlin, maybe because of all of the foreigners, things seem more relaxed, many of the inhabitants seem to jaywalk.
  • Meanwhile, in most of parts of the US, I think jaywalking is considered so normal as to not be worth discussing.
  • In Moscow, many of my friends don't jaywalk, but not because it is "morally wrong" but because they consider it very dangerous; in fact I've seen or know of several fatalities from jaywalking in Russia, so it is in fact rather dangerous, at least if you don't do it right. 
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If you have been brought up not to jaywalk- difficult to break the  habit.   Newcomers to cities, countries  often forget  that traffic is driving on a different side of the road, and accidents happen.  Being a pedestrian can be dangerous enough!

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35 minutes ago, RedMidge said:

Newcomers to cities, countries  often forget  that traffic is driving on a different side of the road, and accidents happen.

 

That is a good point. If the crossing is on something more complicated than a single, straight road I usually won't cross on red the first time i'm there because the time it takes to properly assess the situation for a new crossroads, for example, is usually more than the time it takes for the lights to change. I'm also less inclined to do so if I've only just got back from the UK, and didn't do it at all for the first month or so after moving to Germany.

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otherwise said, if there was a pedestrian crossing in the middle of the desert that would always stay red, rest assured that no German would ever even think about jaywalking it!!!

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1 hour ago, naberlin said:

 

  • When I lived in Bavaria many years ago, I remember being shocked by the fact that at 2am, as I was walking home from the bars, without a car anywhere in sight, the locals would actually stand patiently waiting for the signal to walk and would not infrequently glare/comment when you dared jaywalk--jaywalking seems to be considered "morally wrong" in some way.

 

I'm usually quite arrogant in this case and stop in the middle of the empty road and tell my friends to start crossing already, since is totally illogic to wait for the green light

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In the US - I jaywalk. All the time, every day. I had business partners visit from Germany and they quickly adapted to the 'cross if you can' mentality over here. Of course this always involves watching for traffic, and if I'm at a light with small children I am less inclined to do so. 

 

I completely agree with the insanity of waiting for a green light at 2 or 3am when there is absolutely no cars in sight. 

 

Guess I'll be shocking a few of my friends when I move back ;P

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5 hours ago, naberlin said:

Actually, I think that this minor, narrow issue is fascinating in that it speaks volumes about cultural differences between Germany and other places--there are really noticeable differences in attitudes among countries:

  • When I lived in Bavaria many years ago, I remember being shocked by the fact that at 2am, as I was walking home from the bars, without a car anywhere in sight, the locals would actually stand patiently waiting for the signal to walk and would not infrequently glare/comment when you dared jaywalk--jaywalking seems to be considered "morally wrong" in some way.  In Berlin, maybe because of all of the foreigners, things seem more relaxed, many of the inhabitants seem to jaywalk.
  • Meanwhile, in most of parts of the US, I think jaywalking is considered so normal as to not be worth discussing.
  • In Moscow, many of my friends don't jaywalk, but not because it is "morally wrong" but because they consider it very dangerous; in fact I've seen or know of several fatalities from jaywalking in Russia, so it is in fact rather dangerous, at least if you don't do it right. 

exactly

 

one of my favorite "German moments" ever was on new years eve a couple years back.  I was celebrating at Theresienwiese and it was just packed and full of firework mayhem.  True mayhem (in a good way).  On my way home, winding through people still shooting rockets and throwing firecrackers, leaping, hugging, making out, prosting, dancing and all sorts of other chaos, I finally broke free, got to the corner and EVERYONE was waiting for the green.  not a car in site.  Just waiting.  Calmly.  With dignity.  No mayhem.  At least 60 people on each side.  While other people on the corner not crossing continued to party, shoot rockets, leap, dance and contribute to the general chaos.  But the crossing area itself was an oasis of calm.

 

my heart broke a little bit in that moment.  In a good way. 

 

I learned to cross the street in nyc and I humbly consider myself to be an accomplished jaywalker (insofar as I'm almost 50 and still alive ;).  But here, I don't jaywalk generally.  I do jaywalk on my street as it's a really long way to any intersection, but I'm careful when I do it (by my training standards).  Mostly so as not to freak out riders or drivers.

 

But anyway.  If you choose to jaywalk or not, I really don't see that it's worth *arguing* about.  That's all I was getting at.

 

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3 hours ago, yourkeau said:

Munich police reports two Brits injured by oncoming cars due to jaywalking. They were drunk (visited Oktoberfest), so couldn't correctly assess the traffic situation and "cross with care" didn't work. Just never jaywalk and you will be safe even when drunk.

https://www.polizei.bayern.de/muenchen/news/presse/faelle/index.html/247742

Seems like flogging a dead Horse. Can't we just conclude that each situation warrants it's own solution and move on? I'm an adult in a small city, and I jaywalk numerous times a week because there is often not much traffic and I'm not standing there for no reason. I take responsibility for whatever happens as such because those are my actions. There are a million different types of streets, roads, intersections etc and no one size fits all answer. I don't push people to my point of view, why must you?

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I think most of us can relate a similar anecdote about witnessing the attitude to jaywalking in Germany.

 

My moment of revelation was in my mid teens back in the 1970's whilst still at school, doing a summer exchange programme in Remscheid. Early Sunday morning, lovely quiet summer's day, no traffic for several kilometres in any direction, and a row of Germans patiently waiting for the man to turn green before dutifully crossing the road. I'd never seen anything like it in the UK, but it did give me an early insight into one of those cultural differences between the UK and the Federal Republic.

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4 hours ago, yourkeau said:

They were drunk (visited Oktoberfest), so couldn't correctly assess the traffic situation and "cross with care" didn't work. Just never jaywalk and you will be safe even when drunk.

If you're worried about people staying safe rather than just breaking the rules, you'd be better off advising people not to get drunk rather than avoid jay-walking.   Or is following the rules more important?

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5 hours ago, yourkeau said:

Munich police reports two Brits injured by oncoming cars due to jaywalking. They were drunk (visited Oktoberfest), so couldn't correctly assess the traffic situation and "cross with care" didn't work. Just never jaywalk and you will be safe even when drunk.

https://www.polizei.bayern.de/muenchen/news/presse/faelle/index.html/247742

 

This type of incident happens every year in Munich during the Oktoberfest and it is just one of the many dangers, like ticket scalpers, handbag snatchers and pickpockets, that the Munich police try to keep visitors aware of v ia the media.

 

Somebody, I think maybe Sarabyrd, used to open a thread every year in the Munich forum to warn English-speaking visitors of all these issues. Since she is no longer an active member and you are a Bavarian resident perhaps you could open a new thread on "Police warnings and alerts for Oktoberfest 2016 visitors" with that post as the OP.

 

2 hours ago, CherryKeys said:

Seems like flogging a dead Horse. Can't we just conclude that each situation warrants it's own solution and move on? I'm an adult in a small city, and I jaywalk numerous times a week because there is often not much traffic and I'm not standing there for no reason. I take responsibility for whatever happens as such because those are my actions. There are a million different types of streets, roads, intersections etc and no one size fits all answer. I don't push people to my point of view, why must you?

 

 

I don't think yourkeau, or anyone else on this thread, is interested in trying to push you to their point of view. Whatever you choose to do is of course your choice and I think its safe to say, since you've only been a member for a four months, pretty well nobody here cares that much about your welfare yet! ;)

 

However, the main reason Germans, and long-stay foreigners, are very cautious about jaywalking is not because they are scared to cross the road but because they know how easy it can be, even as an innocent victim of a road accident, to be bankrupted by claims for the associated liability costs.

 

German motor insurance companies are obligated by law to seek to minimize their policyholder's expenses so they, and their legal teams, go after everyone involved in the hope of the courts finding some other party even partially liable. Unless you have very good (read very expensive) legal risk insurance (Rechtschutzversicherung) to defend you the costs of such litigation can be horrendous.

 

Even if you do have that legal risk cover its no guarantee of winning in court and the damages awarded in such claims can easily add up to several millions. This is just one of the reasons why personal liability insurance (Halftpflichtversicherung) is highly recommended although it too has its limitations.

 

Not too long ago there were 2 cases within a few months of each other where pedestrians were seriously injured in jaywalking accidents with trams. In both cases they had to have a foot amputated yet, in addition to facing criminal charges for interfering with the public traffic, they were sued successfully for serious money by both the transport companies (for vehicle damage, and loss of earnings) and the driver's unions (for personal injury by way of shock and loss of earnings). If anyone on either tram had suffered a serious whiplash injury they might have ended up paying for their care costs for life too.

 

Since, as you say,

 

Quote

I take responsibility for whatever happens as such because those are my actions.

 

it is also wise to be aware of the potential costs of that responsibility too because, as I'm sure you know, ignorance of the law is never considered to be a reasonable excuse before the courts.

 

Walk safe folks!

its a legal jungle out there! :lol:

 

2B

 

 

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The police can also fine you on the spot for jaywalking. In Russia you have to run across the road as opposed to walking across calmly:

 

57df0c9908b4f_russianroadcrossing.jpg.e3

 

57df0cad58f21_normalroadcrossing.png.0c8

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6 hours ago, yourkeau said:

They were drunk (visited Oktoberfest), so couldn't correctly assess the traffic situation and "cross with care"

 

translation: they forgot to look LEFT first.

 

 

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On 2.6.2016, 20:38:16, yourkeau said:

Yes, I am. In Germany I can do this. Having attended a full driving school here I know exactly how the drivers are taught to deal with pedestrians. In particular you are taught to show concern for children, elderly and disabled who in Germany are not treated as "idiots". When I cross the road like "an idiot" I basically have the same level of security as an elderly man and in Germany this level is high and that's why satisfactory for me.

 

Cheers.

Never heard the saying it's better to be right than dead right?

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14 hours ago, CherryKeys said:

I'm an adult in a small city, and I jaywalk numerous times a week because there is often not much traffic and I'm not standing there for no reason.

No, you don't. You don't have any traffic lights in your small city and you are free to cross the road everywhere. That is not jaywalking.

 

12 hours ago, naberlin said:

If you're worried about people staying safe rather than just breaking the rules, you'd be better off advising people not to get drunk rather than avoid jay-walking.   Or is following the rules more important?

That is Orwell style advise. If I were I dictator who can decide what people can do and what they cannot, I would ban the cars. That would make people safe. For both Brits and Germans "do not get drunk" is equivalent to "do not breath".

 

I don't understand this warrior approach. Is it really difficult to wait for green that you'd rather die than follow the rules?

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Just now, yourkeau said:

That is Orwell style advise. If I were I dictator who can decide what people can do and what they cannot, I would ban the cars. That would make people safe.

??  I guess I'd call it Orwellian to attach too much importance to people following rules without question rather than using their brains.  

 

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