Status: 04/25/2023 08:41 a.m
Anyone who leaves the scene of an accident without permission commits a criminal offense under current law. According to a media report, the Ministry of Justice intends to punish hit-and-run drivers less severely in the future – provided that there is only property damage.
According to a media report, the Federal Ministry of Justice wants to decriminalize hit and run in cases where no one is harmed. As can be seen from one of the cornerstones of the ministry led by Justice Minister Marco Buschmann (FDP), which is available to the editorial network Germany, hit-and-run accidents should in future be classified as an administrative offense instead of a criminal offense – provided that there is only property damage.
This downgrading “would counteract an undifferentiated criminalization of the person who caused the accident,” according to the RND in the ministry paper.
So far, the unauthorized removal of those involved from the scene of an accident can be punished with a fine or imprisonment of up to three years. According to the plans of the Ministry of Justice, this regulation will only apply to accidents involving personal injury in the future.
As soon as there are physically injured people, it is always necessary “to remain at the scene of the accident and to identify yourself as a party to the accident,” the paper said. According to the information, the ministry sent this shortly after Easter with a request for a statement to professional associations.
Proposal for a reporting obligation
Previously, those involved in an accident had to wait a “reasonable amount of time” at the scene of the accident. As an alternative, the Ministry of Justice is now bringing the establishment of a reporting obligation and reporting office into play. “It would be conceivable, for example, to report via a standardized online mask, possibly also with images of the accident site and damage to be uploaded, or a damage report to be fixed on the damaged vehicle, which, if carried out properly, would not constitute an act,” according to the RND Key issues paper. According to the key points, reports to the police should also continue to be possible.
Most recently, about a quarter of all criminal offenses prosecuted in Germany related to traffic.
With information from Lothar Lenz, ARD capital studio
Buschmann wants leniency in the case of an accident
Lothar Lenz, ARD Berlin, April 25, 2023 7:02 a.m
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