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German ‘Blitz Marathon’ Aims to Snare Speeders on Country’s Roads

MAINZ, Germany - Drivers on Germany’s legendary Autobahn super highway -- where cars often travel at breakneck speeds -- might want to keep an eye on their speedometers for a change on Thursday. More than 13,000 police taking part in a so-called “Blitz Marathon” will be stationed at 7,500 checkpoints across the country as part of a campaign to highlight the dangers of speeding. While the officers will largely be targeting motorists in cities and on country roads, the Autobahn is also being monitored. “Speed is the killer number one across Germany," said Ralf Jaeger, interior minister of Northrhein-Westphalia and one of the officials overseeing the campaign. "Every third traffic accident death is a result of speeding."

Police nabbed some 3 million drivers during last year's speed-trap marathon. And despite early warnings and online posts showing the checkpoint locations, more than 83,000 drivers violated limits that exist on a majority of German roads, including the Autobahn. “More than half of our checkpoints have been recommended by local citizens,” Marco Pecht from the interior ministry in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate told NBC News.

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- Andy Eckardt