A car in Cloppenburg fitted with the hourglass. - dpa
BREMEN: Motorists in a small German town near here are being asked to use hourglasses to show how long they've parked their car, a new method that lets drivers park free of charge for 15 minutes.
The new regulation, which went into effect in Cloppenburg in May, calls for drivers to use a special hourglass sold by the town authorities that marks the time precisely.
Authorities say they'll fine any driver who tries to cheat by turning the hourglass over again.
The measure is aimed at giving drivers enough time to drop into the post office or pick up a prescription from the pharmacy, a townhall spokesman said. It applies to all public parking places in the town of some 35,000 inhabitants located 58km south-east of here.
The hourglasses, costing €3 (RM14) each, must be affixed to the driver-side window with a suction cup. If broken, they can be replaced free of charge on handing in the old one.
Some 300 had been sold by noon on the first day of the new measure. Similar schemes are in place in other parts of Germany.