Cops in Germany pulled a car over on a Bavarian autobahn on Thursday evening. They could not believe their eyes when they inspected the vehicle.
How many people can you squeeze into a British phone box? This question has obsessed some people for decades. Now a similar conundrum appears to have been solved by a family stopped by German police: How many people fit into a five-seater car? The answer, it appears, is 14.
German police stopped an Opel Vectra Wednesday on an autobahn in the southern state of Bavaria and discovered four adults and 10 children huddled inside, according to police spokesman Peter Grimm. The car came to the officers' attention because it was driving at a snail's pace of 40 kmh (25 mph) on a busy highway frequented by heavy vehicles.
After stopping the car near the town of Schwabach, police quickly realized why it was trundling along at that speed. In the back seats of the car sat two women, who each had two small children on their laps, and another youngster squeezed between them. But the real surprise came when officers opened the trunk of the car: huddled inside were five boys and girls.
The women and children were travelling with two men, who sat in comfort in the front seats. The occupants of the car, which had French number plates, says Grimm, were a large Romanian family making the long journey home from France.
"We asked them what they were doing and they explained that they were on their way to Romania," Grimm told SPIEGEL ONLINE. "But they had no money with them."
Police forbade the family from continuing their journey, due to the fact that the Opel Vectra did not have 14 seatbelts, and put them up in a nearby children's home for the night. On Friday, relatives from France picked them up -- in multiple vehicles -- and brought them back to their starting point.