If you run out of gas on the highway in Germany, you might get a ticket.
I guess this doesn’t fall under the category of My Problem.
We saw a car on the side of the Autobahn that was getting its gas tank filled by the German automobile club. My friend mentioned that they were lucky that they didn’t get fined by the police. I didn’t understand why. He explained that it’s dangerous to run out of gas on the Autobahn. Cars are going 250 km/hour and more and if you’re standing still just a few steps away, that’s extremely dangerous. It makes sense.
But I still didn’t really get it. There is certainly the category of Stupid Things You Do that people do and they smash their palms of their hands to their foreheads or they get really angry or maybe they don’t, maybe they just roll with it. But I suppose this doesn’t qualify under the same rules. This one is going beyond just being irresponsible for yourself, you’re not being irresponsible for others. Maybe it’s something like the helmet law. A motorcyclist friend of mine said, “It’s my head, if I want to let it be crushed in an accident, that’s my problem.” Yeah, that’s nice, but it’s not that simple. It’s not just about you. When the driver hits you (and let’s just say it’s your fault, the motorcycle rider) and kills you (sorry about that), who knows what happens then. Maybe your next of kin sues for wrongful death (this is beyond the extent of my knowledge of the law, which is pretty much from cable shows … ). But if you were wearing a helmet, maybe you would have survived, right? Anyway.
Not that the laws are stupid, but the laws for Stupid People or at least Stupid Acts. Or maybe just irresponsible or maybe just forgetful. But hey, I can tell you, if I knew that there was a fine for running out of gas, I would think at least twice about skipping that last tank station with the needle pointing near empty. So is the law making me more responsible, making the road safer for me and others? Hmm, maybe it is.