62nd Highway Patrol (MP)
 Germany      1948 - 1958

Stories of the Highway Patrol


Geisterfahrer - GHOST  DRIVERS

submitted by
  Larry Linville




Driving on the wrong side of the road is dangerous, and can even be deadly.  In German, drivers who are going in the wrong direction are called Geisterfahrer, which means "ghost drivers."



There is no English equivalent of the word Geisterfahrer, but it can describe an incompetent person who mistakenly went the wrong way, or a risky driver who may have done so on purpose.  In many cases, it is simply a dangerous mistake.  One-way street signs and do-not-enter signs are posted across Germany to stop "ghost drivers", but they are not always effective: throughout Germany, there are about five recorded instances of Geisterfahrer each day (which comes out to approximately 1,800 a year), according to FOCUS Online.  In 2012, there were 1,914 recorded Geisterfahrer in Germany.


Some highways have more "ghost drivers" than others, and the German government has tried to tackle this problem by increasing its number of street signs in recent years.  In some areas, the size of these signs has also been increased.




This story previously published in the Word of the Week section of The Week In Germany (TWIG),
an online publication of the German Embassy,
Jul 18, 2014.


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