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Berlin: Speed Traps Generate High Income

Berlin clearly appreciates the advantages of speed traps. The city state recently installed several new ones in order to cash in even more. This is how millions flood the city treasury.

Berlin is drowning in money, thanks to the stationary speed traps it owns. A year and a half ago, the city state had a total of 18 of those, scattered all over the place. But last year, their number increased by 11 to 29. The German capital invested a lot, knowing those devices will generate income.

Advantages Outweigh Disadvantages

Even though one stationary speed trap costs about as much as an average S-Class Mercedes, up to 130,000 Euro (143,000 Dollars or 114,000 Pounds Sterling), and in spite of the fact that operating all of them will generate a bill amounting to about the same sum each year, Berlin is making a lot of money.

Stationary speed traps have two main advantages:

  • They decrease speeding.
  • They generate income.

And they have one single disadvantage:

  • After racing into them once, Berliners will know where they are.

In 2018, Berlin spent 1,103,527 Euro (1,217,444 Dollars or 964233 Pounds) for new stationary speed traps. During the same year, the income was 3,681,928 Euro (4,062,013 Dollars or 3,217,175 Pounds). (Note: Article continues below ‘Related Articles’ teasers.)

Speeding in Freeway Tunnel

There is more good news, from the perspective of the city state of Berlin: It will make even more money in 2019, because the new radar traps were already paid for last year. Also Berliners seem to be speeding more. During the first half of 2019, the income was already 3,057,418 Euro (3,373,035 Dollars or 2,947,272 Pounds).

What the number of speeding violations is concerned, there are either many more this year, or more drivers get caught because there are more speed traps. It is probably a combination of both. Last year, 212.770 violations were registered. From January 1st to June 30th of this year, there were 179.000.

Police officer Andreas Jensch with a mobile speed trap. Photo: Imanuel Marcus

Berlin’s ‘favorite’ speed trap is the one located in the freeway tunnel in the city’s ‘Britz’ district. In 2018, as many as 80,521 violators were caught here (220 per day or 9 per hour, on average), more than three times as many as the ‘second-best’ speed trap at the intersection of ‘Schildhornstrasse’ and ‘Gritznerstrasse’ managed to catch.

Surprised Taxi Drivers

The fines for speeding in German cities are relatively high. One example: Going 31 to 40 km/h faster than allowed will trigger a fine in the amount of 160 Euro (177 Dollars or 140 Pounds) and lead to a one-month driving ban.

The 29 stationary speed traps are not the only ones Berlin is using to wage war on speeding. There are mobile ones which will even surprise taxi and Uber drivers who circle the city all day long and address all traffic lights by their first names.

This collection of numbers was provided by Berlin’s Senate Administration of the Interior. It was part of an official answer to an inquiry by Peter Trapp of the conservative opposition party CDU, which he handed in at the Berlin House of Representatives. Berlin is being ruled by a three-way center-left coalition lead by the Social Democrats (SPD).

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