The police union fears more hit-and-runs if reform plans by Federal Justice Minister Marco Buschmann to address these violations are implemented.

According to the FDP politician, escapees without personal injury should only be punished as an administrative offence. It is to be feared that such a downgrade will lead to more cases of unauthorized removal from the scene of an accident, said the Vice-Chairman of the Police Union (GdP), Michael Mertens, of the German Press Agency. “That means more people are left with the repair costs.”

The trade unionist pointed out that those affected by accidents could quickly end up with several thousand euros. “The danger that the impression is given that the escape from the accident is just a trivial offense cannot be dismissed out of hand,” said Mertens. “Not everyone can or wants to afford comprehensive insurance that also covers damage caused by hit-and-run accidents.”

Buschmann wants to reduce the workload for the police

Offenses such as hit and run are currently considered criminal offenses, regardless of whether people were injured. Buschmann justified his initiative by saying that the effort for the police, public prosecutors and courts could be reduced. It is about recording the damage and participation in a modern way, he had told the newspapers of the Bayern media group.

“Buschmann’s proposal could possibly relieve the public prosecutor’s office, but the fine offices will be more heavily burdened,” said Mertens. “Against the background of a rampant shortage of staff in every nook and cranny of the public service, this points in the wrong direction.” Approval for the initiative came from ADAC, for example.