Bild: Keystone
Bild: Keystone
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Local News Summary of April, 10th

  • E-bikes faster than the police allow: who cares?
  • Man sought by police after woman threatened and sexually assaulted
  • Strike at German airports: EuroAirport is also affected

E-bikes faster than the police allow: who cares?

While car drivers have to pay a fine for every kilometre per hour they drive above the speed limit, cyclists get away with riding at high speed everywhere, even in traffic-calming areas and zones with a speed limit of 30 km/h.

More and more streets in Basel are being converted into areas with an upper speed limit of 30 km/h. This is often a nuisance for drivers, especially since there are also various fixed or mobile speed cameras. If you exceed the speed limit by only a few kilometres, the policetake a photo of you, which ends up being far more expensive than the picture taken for your passport.

Speed cameras: yes. Fines: no

Let’s not address the question of whether these measures are about security or moneymaking: after all, it affects every traffic offender. All of them? Not really: While car drivers are controlled and punished by speed cameras, many two-wheeled drivers race past the cars at high speed. At a speed limit of 30 km/h, this is no big deal, with or without an electric motor, but such speeds are just as forbidden for bicycles and e-bikes as they are for four-wheel vehicles. Therefore, they are also photographed, but not fined. With no license plate, no fine can be issued and neither conventional bikes nor «slow» e-bikes need to have a registered number. Motorbikes do have numbers, but only abovethe rear wheel, and they therefore they do not show up on the normal radar photos.

A purely muscle-powered sports bike easily exceeds the speed limits in the reduced speed zones. For them, and the slower e-bikes, this is no problem. But the riders of «fast» e-bikes, which easily accelerate to 45 km/h, are rarely, if ever, asked to pay when they speed: According to the Basel cantonal police, some of the number plates are simply too small to be read. This also applies to mopeds. Equal rights for all? Not when it comes to traffic.

No fines

Unlike vehicles, two-wheelers are not fined according to the speeding limit if they are accidentally caught by speed monitoring patrols. Since there is no speed limit for any bicycle model, the rider cannot claim to have known how fast he or she was actually driving on the road. The amount of a possible fine is therefore not decided by the usual traffic law, but in fact by a judge (!) – and only if the police report the offender at all.

This happens only in very few cases, Toprak Yerguz, media spokesman of the Basel cantonal police, told It is therefore more rarethan winning the lottery. «If a cyclist rides too fast, the police can register the speed limit violation. However, for this to happen, there must have been a danger or injury resulting from the violation.» A fine cannot be issued because there would have to be a corresponding regulation in the traffic law – which simply does not exist.

As long as there is this loophole in the traffic policy, moped and bike riders can continue to race around town, even in speed-reduced zones. It doesn’t matter whether they are caught on speed cameras. The chance of being fined is much smaller than being struck by lightning.


Man sought by police after woman threatened and sexually assaulted

The police are looking for a man who threatened and sexually assaulted a woman in an apartment building on Monday morning.

According to police investigations, the woman was entering the apartment building on Haltingerstrasse at 8am when a strangerpretending to visit someone in the block followed behind her.

He then got in the elevator with the woman before harassing and threatening her, telling her he was carrying a knife. When the elevator stopped, he blocked her way and sexually assaulted her. The woman fought back and shouted for help. As a result, the attacker ran off.The woman contacted the police, but a search was unsuccessful.

The police are looking for a man aged between 30-35 years old, 165-170 cm tall, with a dark complexion, southern type, and a firm stature. He had an unkempt appearance, short black hair, an upright posture, and was unshaven. At the time, he was wearing a black baseball cap, black leather jacket, black trousers, and had a deep voice. He spoke broken German.


Strike at German airports: EuroAirport is also affected

Lufthansa will cancel more than 800 flights scheduled for today amid strikes planned by the service trade union, Verdi, at four German airports. About 90,000 passengers will be affected, the airline announced in Frankfurt am Main on Monday.

Yesterday (Monday) various flights between the EuroAirport and Munich and between the EuroAirport and Frankfurt were cancelled.

Today (Tuesday) there will be work stoppages at airports in Frankfurt am Main, Munich, Cologne, and Bremen. With this strike taking place before the third round of negotiations next weekend, Verdi aims to put pressure on employers, it announced on Monday.

In Frankfurt am Main, Munich, Cologne, and Bremen, the union represents ground handling service employees as well as airport fire brigade staff.

Half of the originally planned 1,600 Lufthansa flights will be cancelled today. Among the cancelled flights are also 58 long-haul connections. According to the company, flight operations will resume a regular schedule on Wednesday. Lufthansa has published a replacement flight schedule on its website. Passengers are asked to check the status of their flight before travelling to the airport.