What is to be expected pedestrians dead

Too mild judgment? : Only 200 euros fine for a human life

A child runs off across the street, a car comes, it's too fast, hits the boy - the four-year-old dies in the hospital. It's a nightmare for everyone - the boy, his mother, but also for the driver involved in an accident. He has now been sentenced. A 23-year-old man, architecture student, 8th semester, no more student loans, hence the low daily rate: 40 daily rates of five euros each, that's the fine.

200 euros for a human life, isn't that too mild? Isn't it scandalous? And isn't it almost a license in a city full of speeders who obviously have nothing to fear, even if they kill a child? Actually, there are up to five years imprisonment for negligent homicide. How can that be?

In the case of negligence, the breach of duty is decisive. Could the accident have been avoided had it been compliant with the rules? According to the appraiser, not. 50 km / h was allowed in the bus lane, the driver involved in the accident drove faster. "Even at 50 km / h, the accident would not have been avoidable," the expert noted.

The court nevertheless saw a breach of duty here insofar as the driver had not adjusted his speed. This is required by the road traffic regulations in paragraph three: "Anyone who drives a vehicle may only drive so fast that the vehicle is constantly controlled. The speed must (...) be adapted to traffic, visibility and weather conditions." There was a traffic jam here, the defendant should have driven more slowly.

According to the court, the accident could have been avoided at 30 km / h. The driver should have expected passers-by. The prosecution had also seen it this way: "If the accused had been observed with due diligence in traffic, the accused could and should have recognized that overtaking in the right lane was generally only allowed with particular caution and moderate speed, and that pedestrians were allowed to pass regularly use traffic jam situations to cross the lane - also in violation of the prohibition - especially if, as here, a pedestrian crossing has been kept clear of the vehicles ", it says in the indictment.

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It is the task of the court to form a judgment on the guilt of the accused under the impression of the main hearing. And yes, this one made mistakes. On October 19, 2017, he was driving on Romain-Rolland-Stra├če in the direction of Pankow, traffic was jammed, the bus lane was free. Since the defendant wanted to turn right after 70 to 100 meters, he decided to drive the short distance on the bus lane. He swerved, accelerated, he was too fast, the child came running from the left, he braked and swerved to the right, but his outside mirror caught the child. A dashcam recorded the accident. But making mistakes is not enough. The fault must also be causal for the boy's accident and death.

The boy ran free and just ran

The boy and his mother stood on the center island of the pedestrian crossing. The court heard many witnesses. The statements made it clear: The mother did not hold the boy by the hand. She pulled a shopping trolley with one hand and carried a bag with the other. The boy did not hold onto the trolley, but ran free. "The child can't help it, it ran out onto the street when it was red - you have to reproach the mother too," the court said. Here is "a misconduct on the part of the legal guardian". The driver's guilt was rated as minor. The mother was not heard in the process; she is reportedly living abroad.

The driver is German, a native of Kosovo. He has no previous convictions and has not committed any traffic violations, he suffers a lot mentally from the act. From the court's point of view, this also punishes the man. Even in court, he kept crying. During the two weeks that the boy was in hospital until his death, he prayed for him every day, the defendant said. Witnesses had also testified that he got out of the car immediately after the accident and ran to the child to help, because his whole body was trembling. This is also shown by the video.

The time factor is also not to be underestimated. The defendant has lived with the charge for over a year and a half and with the impending trial for almost as long as it took a long time. The public prosecutor had demanded 70 daily rates. Since a daily rate corresponds to a day's imprisonment and one is only deemed to have a criminal record above 90 daily rates, this means that even the prosecution did not consider a guilty verdict to be appropriate that would have led to a criminal record.

The case was discussed among judges in the court in Moabit. "The accident would have happened the same way if a taxi had been at the driver's place at 50 km / h," says a traffic judge. "I would then have acquitted the taxi driver for lack of breach of duty."

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