German court: driving an SUV alone does not justify a higher fine

BERLIN (AP) — A court in Germany ruled on Thursday that driving an SUV is not in itself a reason to impose higher fines for traffic violations.

The Frankfurt Regional Court’s decision overturns a lower court’s ruling against a driver who ran a red light, which could have set a precedent for similar cases.

The lower court’s verdict in June argued that the shape of the SUV, with its tall, box-like hood, meant the driving violation posed a greater risk to pedestrians than if the defendant had been driving a smaller car.

However, the driver’s appeal did not change the sentence. The higher court ruled that the defendant’s previous driving convictions warranted payment of 350 euros ($343) — nearly double the normal fine — and imposed a one-month ban.

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