German Motorists Not To Brake For Small Animals

Article

German motorists have been told not to brake for small dogs and cats if they want to keep their insurance coverage.

Drivers involved in accidents trying to avoid them are likely to have any claims for damages cancelled and run the risk of being prosecuted for dangerous driving.

It follows a court case in Berlin where a 71-year-old driver was criticized after braking sharply when a dachshund ran out in front of him.

The driver behind him could not stop in time, smashed into his car and sued the pensioner for the damage to his vehicle.

The judge said: "According to the rules of the road, emergency stops are normally only allowed when the driver or other road users are in serious danger.

"This risk does not include a Dachshund running across the road because such a small dog can be run over without any danger."

The ruling was heavily criticized by animal rights campaigners and dog lovers, who said it cheapened the lives of small animals.

Jutta Siebers of the Federal Animal Protection League said: "I am outraged and saddened by this judgment. The judge missed the fact that an animal is much more than just an object."

The German-language 'Kurier' newspaper headlined the story: "It's harmless to run over the Dachshund!"

The ruling includes small pets and wild animals like foxes, badgers, weasels, squirrels and small deer.

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