Bonn More than 9,000 motorists were zapped by a speed camera on Ludwig-Erhard-Allee in Bonn in just one month. Some do not want to accept the fine. The city has now reacted.
Peter S. could have done without this experience just before New Year’s: On December 29, he was zapped by the new speed camera on Ludwig-Erhard-Allee. But Peter S., whose real name is different, does not want to accept the allegation that he disregarded the speed limit. He accuses the city administration of creating confusion with unclear signage.
Since December 9, the gray-green column at the intersection where it leads to the Rheinaue, has been put into operation. For motorists coming from the city center and Südbrücke, the stretch is a popular alternative to the B9. Whereas the speed limit of 50 used to apply only from the narrowing to one lane when it gets to the vicinity of the Rheinaue parking lot, the city has now extended the speed limit of 50 to part of the two-lane section from the Südbrücke.
Man who received ticket wants to defend himself against the citv
This is exactly what Peter S. experienced two days before New Year's Eve. According to the official document he received, he is said to have exceeded the speed limit by 27 kilometers per hour. A fine of one hundred euros and a point in Flensburg would be the normal consequence. But Peter S. says he has not had any points in the Flensburg register "for ages", and he wants to defend himself. His argument: the 50 km/h speed limit signs had been placed in a way that was misleading. Because they were mounted just before the intersection and directly next to the two turning lanes in the direction of Heinemannstraße (Kreuzbauten, Hotel Maritim), he believed that they referred only to these. The fact that behind the intersection, where the road narrows to one lane, the old 50 km/h speed limit sign was still standing, made him assume that the rule applies from that point as before.
He was quite surprised when he drove the same route to work a few days ago: Now, the speed limit of 50 is already posted about a hundred meters ahead. Apparently, the city had changed the signage after he received his speeding ticket. This was confirmed by Marc Hoffmann, deputy spokesman for the city, upon inquiry. The change was made on January 13: "The city administration received increased inquiries and complaints from citizens that the signage was not so easy to see due to the location and building development. It was therefore decided to move the signage in front of the bridge, as the signs are a little clearer there," explains the spokesman. They also plan to put the number "50" on the road surface.
City adjusts signage for better visibility
The relocation of the signage has "optimized visibility," explains Hoffmann. He sees no concrete basis, however, for a revision of the speeding fines because: "The signage also fulfilled the visibility principle before the relocation." The city's legal opinion is that moving the signs has had no effect on motorists who were zapped before the shifting of the signage. Hoffmann: "The signage met the legal requirements even before the move.”
In fact, unlike other German states, North Rhine-Westphalia does not stipulate a minimum distance between the sign and the speed camera. Nevertheless, Peter S. does not want to let the matter go. He considers the earlier signage - next to the two turning lanes - not to be in compliance with the rules and wants to defend himself legally against the fine. The fact that the city itself subsequently corrected the signage clearly indicates that something was wrong here before, he argues. Until the conclusion of the proceedings, he can be comforted by a four-digit figure: Since the speed camera was put into operation on December 9 until January 5, i.e. in less than a month, 9,235 motorists have been zapped in both directions of Ludwig-Erhard-Allee. That is 342 red flashes per day.
(Orig. text: Rüdiger Franz / Translation: Carol Kloeppel)