Are you more likely to be thinking clearly in the final moments of great passion or whilst on the phone to your accountant? Answers on a postcard to Judge AlbertBartz.
Finding himself with no option other than to fine a motorist €245 for using a mobile phone whilst driving, he has electrified the staid German media with his obiter comments.
The Gummersbach judge pointed out that driving with one hand - if one hand is all you have, is not illegal. Engaging in masturbation with one hand is not illegal, indeed partaking in full consensual sex with your passenger whilst driving is not illegal, dictating his decision about the case onto a Dictaphone would not be illegal, fiddling with the car radio, setting the satnav system, even shaving or cleaning your teeth, and dangling your left hand out of the window and using your right hand to play poker on your laptop is not actually illegal, according to current German road rules.
A driver can use a mobile telephone while driving -- as long as he or she doesn't have to hold the phone or adjust the phone's headset while in control of the vehicle.
"You have to question whether using a mobile telephone in the car should be punished any further, when 95 percent of the most dangerous types of behavior (while driving) are not subject to any fines,"
Bartz also points out that it is hard for police to tell exactly what a driver has been doing with their hands, especially in an era when there are so many new digital devices they could be using while driving. He has forwarded the -- in his opinion -- offending piece of legislation to Germany's highest court, the Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe as a potential violation of the German constitutional right of equality. A spokesperson for the Constitutional Court said that a decision on the issue wouldn't be made until September at the earliest.
Well said that man.