The Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG) may move cars that block buses and trams. That was the decision of the administrative court in Berlin and the first time the new regulation under the Mobility Act was reviewed, as court spokesman Stephan Groscurth announced on Monday. The verdict was already made at the end of May, but the written justification has only now been published.
Since January 2020, the BVG has also been sending its own towing vehicles to clear their routes more quickly. The legal basis for this was created with the Mobility Act passed in 2018.
From the point of view of the court, this is not objectionable. The BVG carries out regulatory tasks as part of averting danger, it said. (Az. VG 11 K 298/21). When asked by the Tagesspiegel, the BVG announced that they had around 8,000 vehicles towed from bus lanes and bus stops last year. This year there were already around 3,500 by the end of May.
In the specific case, a car owner complained whose car was parked less than 15 meters from a bus stop in the early morning hours of October 25, 2020 in Berlin-Weißensee. A BVG employee arranged for the vehicle to be moved.
According to the fee notice, the car owner should pay 208.33 euros for this. On the other hand, he defended himself in court with the argument that he had not obstructed anyone.
However, he was unsuccessful in doing so. A specific hindrance is not necessary in such a case because the smooth running of local public transport is more important, argued the responsible 11th chamber.
The judgment is not final. The car owner can apply for an appeal before the Higher Administrative Court of Berlin-Brandenburg. According to Groscurth, he has just under a month to do so.
A code sent to the control center signals parked stops
According to the BVG, it employs 40 bus lane supervisors and 36 drivers in its towing teams. The bus drivers should report any obstacles that affect our operations”, for example obstacles at bus stops and in bus lanes. This also applies to the trams, of course, whose stops on the side of the road are sometimes parked in such a way that passengers find themselves between open doors and illegal parkers have to push through.
According to the BVG, the reports to the control center can also be made by entering a code, i.e. not necessarily by radio messages or telephone calls. Therefore, passengers could get the impression that the driver ignores the disability.