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Pope Benedict XVI faces German accuser: "He didn't wear a seatbelt"

Should the pontiff have been a better public safety example?

Continued from page 1

Pope Benedict XVI in the Popemobile

“There will be no fine for the Pope,” city spokeswoman Edith Lamersdorf told the German newspaper Sudkurier.


It turns out that the charges were brought by an anonymous citizen with a passion for seat belt safety. His attorney, Christian Sundermann, filed the complaint on behalf of the unnamed Dortmund resident, saying her client was annoyed that the pontiff had ignored local seat belt laws when he visited

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Berlin, Freiburg and Erfurt — moving through the enormous crowds greeting their native son in his Mercedes “Popemobile.”

A Germany court quashed the complaint, acknowledging that Germany requires all car occupants to wear seat belts, but that law doesn’t apply to occupants of parade floats. The pope was exempt since his vehicle was moving at extremely slow speeds on closed public streets lined by crowds there to catch a glimpse of the first German-born pope since medieval times.

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