Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Daily driving in Germany

Everyone knows Germans love their cars (and why shouldn't they, when so many of them originate here) and the word Autobahn is well-known across the world. The lack of speed limits on some stretches of the highways has even allegedly become a tourist attraction. What those who don't live here can't imagine is the amount of radio air-time devoted to reports on traffic jams (Staus), accident spots and endless roadworks to avoid, unusual objects on the roads and the ubiquitous Falschfahrers.

As one of my favourite songs attempted to play its way across the radio waves today (on my favourite local station, SWR3 - listen live!), the DJs interrupted a total of four times - more than once a minute - to report various Falschfahrers. Literally a "wrong driver", these are people who are found driving down an Autobahn in the wrong direction, variously considered to be confused drivers who've made a mistake on an onramp, frustrated people who are escaping a Stau, and sadly, sometimes suicide attempts. With so many locals hurtling along at over 200km/hr - in the right direction - it's important for them to know when someone might come at them from the wrong way.

Reports of unusual objects on the streets are important too. Today's warnings seemed to top the list of strange items, beginning with a large piece of plastic on the A6 near Mannheim, and ranging through a broom, a chair, a small flock of sheep right up to a bull which had escaped from the circus. Vorsicht on the German roads!

1 comment:

  1. A quick follow-up: today I heard a truck had lost its load and the radio was constantly reporting the danger of hundreds of shoes strewn across an Autobahn!


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