Written by Philipp Schiwek and last edited by Garry on


Generally speaking, the Germans are a serious bunch of people and stick to the rules. It is said that in Germany there is a regulation for everything; if it’s not regulated, it’s not aloud. There are also just about as many exceptions and many professions exist simply for that reason.

The levels of fines and penalties are surprisingly low compared to most other European countries and seem to reflect this so-called collective responsibility (Vernunft). There are though, numerous possibilities to benefit the public purse.

Driving is one example. It’s true, there is no general speed limit on German motorways (Autobahnen) but many stretches are regulated by signed speed limits, which are often closely policed. Inner city radars are widespread as are spot checks.

Speeding and other traffic offences can be subject to on-the-spot fines. Pedestrians can be called to account for jaywalking, crossing red lights or throwing garbage on the streets. Cyclists can also be called to order quite easily for breaking the law.