Wednesday, 12. March 2014
08. 02. 13. - 15:00
Whether they drive too fast, under the influence of alcohol or use their mobile phones whilst driving, diplomats are immune to penalties for traffic violations like these.
Last year, 3,151 reports were filed against traffic offenders who work at embassies, but they often do not pay their fines.
Most of the times, the offenders would have to pay small and medium amounts up to 70 Euros. This includes violations such as parking where it is prohibited, ignoring a red traffic light or speeding. However, as it turned out, diplomats are rarely paying those fines.
This way, the state loses ten thousands of Euros every year.
If a diplomat is stopped by a policeman, the officer is not allowed to fine the diplomat personally because the latter is not subject to the criminal jurisdiction of the country. It is only possible for the organisation (OPEC, United Nations) or the state to renounce the immunity.
It seems that this immunity is a reason why diplomats in Austria often ignore speed limits. There are only 9,000 registered diplomats in the country, of which many are registered in Vienna. Statistically speaking, every fifth of them is fined for committing a traffic violation.
Whilst many diplomats from abroad, such as Russia or China, almost never pay their fines, Austrian diplomats are strictly instructed to do so with their own money.
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