While most cities around the world balance budgets by slapping residents with $100 parking fines,o ne German locale is taking a whole new approach to apprehending irresponsible drivers.
Instead of the usual reproach, authorities in Potsdam are issuing zero-euro fines with the message, “Glueck gehabt!!!” (Lucky you!!!).
Potsdam, the state capital of Brandenburg near Berlin, collected around 1.2 million euros in parking fines last year and issued around 120,000 parking tickets, according to the city spokeswoman Regina Thielemann.
“The tickets serve as a warning to parking offenders,” she told Reuters. “They’re issued when the driver isn’t around. So they’re given written notice when they’d ordinarily get a verbal warning.”
For a country known for stringent rules and law-abiding practices, the concept seems a little of out place. But perhaps the irritation of receiving a ticket replaced by a pleasant surprise will coax Germans into better parking practices.