2000 inspectors, 6000 police officers – the railway is fighting against mask refusers
Stand: 07.12.2020 | Reading time: 3 minutes
Deutsche Bahn would like to give German citizens a safe party. To do this, she is tightening the mask controls. In three months, around 200,000 people across Germany were registered on trains without mouth and nose protection. A large number even had to get out.
Dhe Deutsche Bahn has once again stepped up checks on the mask requirement on its trains before the Christmas traffic. According to the Deutsche Bahn (DB), around 99 percent of all passengers are currently supposed to adhere to the requirement to wear a face-to-face mask on trains.
Last week, rail board member Ronald Pofalla announced that the number of mask controls on the group’s long-distance trains would be doubled again in December.
Statistically, on every second train you have to expect that either DB security staff or federal police officers check whether all passengers adhere to the mask requirement.
On Monday, a nationwide day of action was again intensively checked to ensure that all passengers are wearing a mask.
“We want a safe Christmas with the family,” said Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer (CSU). “The mask requirement in the train is our most effective instrument.” A total of 2000 DB inspectors and 6000 federal police officers are on duty, it said.
A balance sheet for the day of action was not yet available on Monday. In the period between September and last weekend, a total of around 200,000 people without masks were found on Deutsche Bahn trains, said the President of the Federal Police, Dieter Romann.
In the vast majority of cases, however, the officials left it with admonitions, only in around 3,600 cases were the travelers’ personal details recorded. They should be reported to the health authorities, which can then impose fines. Around 500 passengers so steadfastly refused to cover their mouths and noses that the federal police forced them to disembark at the next train station.
Overall, the passengers’ discipline has improved significantly, emphasizes the Deutsche Bahn. “There are far fewer customers who have to be asked to wear a mouth and nose cover than there were in the summer,” said Berthold Huber, the board member responsible for passenger transport, last week.
However, this should also have to do with the significantly increased control pressure. Initially, the railway had only instructed the train attendants to inform passengers of the mask requirement if they did not wear a mouth and nose cover. For a long time, fines or even a reprimand from the train were not possible.
The fact that the group is now urgently pressing for compliance with the mask requirement is also due to the fact that trains are still one of the few places where the distance rules cannot always be followed.
It is true that the railway wants to use additional trains around the holidays and has reduced the number of reservable seats in long-distance traffic. However, the company has not introduced a reservation requirement that would ensure that a maximum of every second seat is actually occupied.
DB argues that such an obligation would lead to displacement effects in local transport. However, it should also play a role that the railway does not want to alienate its regular customers, who often have season tickets like the Bahncard 100 and can take any train.
However, it is often even tighter in local public transport, where there is no possibility of regulation via a reservation obligation. Especially in school and rush hour traffic in the morning and afternoon, many trains and buses get full.
In many places on Monday, there were also increased checks in local transport to see whether all passengers were wearing masks. The Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG), for example, has recorded 7,000 cases since July in which a so-called contractual penalty of 50 euros was imposed on passengers for not wearing a mask. However, 95 to 98 percent of all passengers in Berlin’s local transport would adhere to the rules, according to the BVG.