What should you do after a traffic accident in Germany?

Courtesy Photo
Courtesy Photo

Road conditions and weather fluctuate daily, and although drivers take extra precautions to reduce the risk of being in a traffic accident, the best made plans cannot guarantee you a safe journey.

The 569th U.S. Forces Police Squadron receives approximately five to 10 traffic accident reports within a 24-hour period. Along with these traffic accidents, we’ve seen more “failure to report” and “fleeing the scene” cases over the last six months.

To help educate our U.S. Army Europe-licensed drivers so they do not find themselves being charged with “failure to report” and “fleeing the scene” of a traffic accident, let’s take a look directly at the regulation that governs the local traffic codes.

Army in Europe Regulation 190-1 applies to all members of the U.S. Forces (Army, Navy, Air Force) and the civilian component (including family members) who are assigned to or employed within the geographic boundaries of Germany and who are authorized a U.S. forces certificate of license. It prescribes policy and procedures for licensing drivers of privately owned vehicles, inspecting and registering POVs, operating POVs and other wheeled recreational equipment for U.S. forces in Germany. Now that you know who this regulation applies to let’s look at what is stated regarding traffic accident reporting.

AE 190-1, chapters 4-7. Action in case of an accident
A. Germany has a good samaritan law that requires everyone, in case of an accident or common danger or distress, to render the appropriate aid expected under the circumstances. Failure to render aid can result in a fine or imprisonment.

B. POV drivers will immediately notify the military police or security forces of accidents on U.S. installations.

If the accident occurs off a U.S. installation, drivers will:

  • Notify the German police immediately. German police may, however, not respond to accidents if no injuries are involved.
  • Report the accident to the MP or SF within 72 hours. This will help drivers if they have to appear in court and when insurance companies need information.

C. Review AE Form 190-1Y received from your local Field Registration Stations (Sembach, Baumholder and Vogelweh) immediately. It explains specific actions to take when involved in a traffic accident. This form must stay in your vehicle with your registration so it can be reviewed in the case of an accident.

Failing to immediately notify German or U.S. military law enforcement of fender benders, minor scratches, paint transfers and parking lot incidents can and will lead to the owner/operator of the vehicle involved to be charged with failure to report or fleeing the scene of the accident.

Even if you aren’t present when the damage occurs to your vehicle, the moment you notice the damage you must notify law enforcement. Now you may be asking, “To whom do I report these incidents?”

If you are involved in an accident on Ramstein, you must report it immediately to the 86th Security Forces Squadron Base Defense Operations Center law enforcement desk, Bldg. 2371.

If you are involved in an accident at any other installation (i.e. Vogelweh, Daenner, Kleber, Panzer, Sembach, Landstuhl and Miesau) within the KMC, you must immediately report the accident to the 569th USFPS Integrated Defense Operations Center LE desk, Bldg. 2067, on Vogelweh.

If the accident occurred off base or off post, you must notify Polizei and the 569th USFPS IDOC immediately.

Important phone numbers to have in case you are in a traffic accident:

  • 86th Security Forces Squadron, Ramstein BDOC, Commercial phone number: 06371-47-2050 or DSN 480-2050
  • 569th U.S. Forces Police Squadron, Vogelweh IDOC, Commercial phone number: 06371-536-6060 or DSN 489-6060
  • German Polizei Central Dispatch, Commercial phone number: 0631-3690
  • Emergency Contact Dial: 112 (On or off base/post)

(Courtesy of 569th U.S. Forces Police Squadron)