Speed cameras in Germany are lethal. I suppose they are called “safety cameras” nowadays, which, frankly, is a misnomer. Ostensibly to save lives, the orange flash frightened the living daylights out of me; there was a violent swerve and spilt tea. Could I sue the German government? After all, emasculation from scalding tea is not a laughing matter. I mean it – stop laughing.
My argument may not be impregnable, however; there is quite possibly a legal school of thought that frowns upon sipping a steaming cuppa whilst at the wheel. Perhaps I’ll just grin and bear the discomfort. Hey, I bet you’re surprised that we were travelling fast enough to trigger a camera in the first place? Ah, well there are roadworks on the Bremen – Hamburg motorway, and we’d been diverted through a hamlet or two.
So there we were (Namibian and Yours Truly) pottering along, minding our own business – at 90km/h through a 70km/h village – and Bam! I was lit up, startled and partially blinded. It was a little while before I could focus on a crossword again, let alone recover from scarred thighs. Luckily, I was in a Left-hand drive; Cowboy, with an ordinary British RH-drive truck, was still squinting a day later, but that might just be because he sits in midday sun without any shades on.
Now you would think after quite such a flash that Namibian might have backed off a bit. No, I’m afraid not. He was just wondering what the sun was doing up at 2am when Bam! He was flashed, too. In fact, speaking to the rest of the AC/DC drivers later, every one of us has been subjected to the curious orange phenomena found on northern Germany’s minor roads.
The good news is that, more than nine months after the event, nothing has come through the post. Well, not nothing – I’ve had bills and fan mail, obviously – but nothing connected to razzing it through German villages. My fears have been allayed for the time being, but could the sinister authorities be lulling us into a false sense of security?
Perhaps the Germans are waiting at the border for those twenty-nine truck registrations to return – a callous, calculated ploy to precipitate a crisis in rock and roll trucking. We could be incarcerated; the trucks could be impounded. As it happens, we’re all setting off again – on 7/4/2010 – heading for Oslo to start the Metallica tour. And guess which country we’ll be transiting? Cunningly, in case the above suspicions bear fruit, I’ll be in a new truck. Ha ha, that’ll fox them.