German Drivers No Longer Get Points On Their License For Raising The *Stinkefinger*

DIE WELT (Germany)


BERLIN - A German driver who insults another with gestures like tapping their finger against their head to indicate craziness, or raising the middle finger, gets five points in the central index of traffic offenders in addition to a hefty fine sometimes as high as four figures.

Supporters of the severe regulations say that they keep such insults in check.

However Germany’s Minister of Transport Peter Ramsauer doesn’t buy that, and wants index points attributed only for violations that impact safety. *Das Zeigen des Vogels or the Stinkefinger (middle finger) do not fall into that category and should be point-free, he says. The minister has also announced plans to revise the central index and point system starting in February 2014, reports Die Welt.

Road insults will however continue to be punishable, just not with points, says Anne Kronzucker, a jurist with the legal expenses insurance company DAS: "As per paragraph 185 of the penal code, an insult can mean a fine or even imprisonment. That includes verbal insults as well as insulting gestures of any kind."

There are no set fines for insults as there are with traffic violations; how high the fine is depends on the situation but also the income of the accused. Repeat offenders may risk a prison sentence.

*Correction: Due to an editing error, an earlier version of the story referred to "Das Zeigen des Vogels" as “Flipping the bird.” It is instead a gesture to say someone is crazy.

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Iran To Offer Master's And PhD In Morality Enforcement

For those aiming to serve the Islamic Republic of Iran as experts to train the public morality agents, there are now courses to obtain the "proper" training.

Properly dressed in the holy city of Qom.

Iran will create new "master's and doctorate" programs to train state morality agents checking on people's public conduct and attire, according to several Persian-language news sources.

Mehran Samadi, a senior official of the Headquarters to Enjoin Virtues and Proscribe Vices (Amr-e be ma'ruf va nahy az monkar) said "anyone who wants to enjoin virtues must have the knowledge," the London-based broadcaster Iran International reported, citing reports from Iran.

The morality patrols, in force since the 1979 revolution, tend to focus mostly on young people and women, particularly the public appearance for the latter. Loose headscarves will send women straight to a police station, often in humiliating conditions. Five years ago, the regime announced a new force of some 7,000 additional agents checking on women's hijabs and other standards of dress and behavior.

A woman in Tehran walks past a mural of an Iranian flag

The traffic police chief recently said women were not allowed to ride motorbikes

Rouzbeh Fouladi/ZUMA

New academic discipline

Last week, for example, Tehran police revealed that they had "disciplined" agents who had been filmed forcefully shoving a girl into a van. Such incidents may increase under the new, conservative president, Ibrahim Raisi.

Speaking about the new academic discipline, Samadi said morals go "much further than headscarves and modesty," and those earning graduate degrees would teach agents "what the priorities are."

Iran's Islamic regime, under the guidance of Shia jurists, continuously fine tunes notions of "proper" conduct — and calibrates its own, interventionist authority. More recently the traffic police chief said women were not allowed to ride motorbikes, and "would be stopped," Prague-based Radio Farda reported.

Days before, a cleric in the holy city of Qom in central Iran insisted that people must be vaccinated by a medic of the same sex "as often as possible," and if not, there should be no pictures of mixed-sex vaccinations.

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