There is no speed limit in Germany

Countries with no speed limit

In Germany there is no speed limit on the autobahn

Germany is one of the few countries in the world where everyone is allowed to speed what the turbo has to offer. A There is no general speed limit, however, exist special restrictions on about 40% of the motorways, temporarily or entirely. Many who do not belong to any of the camps do not understand the excitement. A speed limit of 120 km / h would save around 2.5 million tons of carbon dioxide annually. In view of the 85 million tons that car traffic causes annually, that is not exactly a gigantic number. The number of traffic fatalities would probably also not decrease in a revolutionary way by a speed limit. Most fatal accidents are already occurring on rural roads that are speeded to be limited. So why the uprising?

Many factors play a role here. This includes the automotive industry with 720,000 jobs as well as the PS fan club ADAC. The motorists generated sales of 273 billion euros last year, the majority of which was abroad. German cars are selling extremely well all over the world, especially in the luxury class. The market share of German premium vehicles is 80% worldwide. The VDA, the influential association at the forefront of the German automotive industry, has calculated that around half of all automotive jobs depend on this premium collection - expensive, heavy and fast cars that are comfortable and safe even at high speeds.

A number of technical innovations are necessary in order to reduce the fuel consumption of a car, or to make it quieter or safer. Even more so if they are supposed to be or stay fast at the same time. To make matters worse, the Germans are more of a people of motorists. While younger people in many other countries define themselves in terms of status symbols and self-confidence on smartphones, tablets and other means of communication, in Germany the car is still considered a status symbol, here it can be a little more.

Speed ​​limit in Germany is also an environmental issue

That is why the subject has to be on the agenda again and again for proponents of speed limits. For the Advisory Council on the Environment, the demand for a speed limit has been part of the standard program for environmentally and people-friendly traffic for many years. As early as 2005, you submitted the proposal for speed limits outside built-up areas at 120 kilometers per hour and within built-up areas at 30 kilometers per hour. They argue that the more power the engines can produce, the more difficult it is to reduce CO2 emissions. A 50% reduction in output could reduce carbon dioxide emissions by up to a third.

A speed limit is not just about the fact that slower driving is more environmentally friendly, but that slower, lighter and less powerful vehicles are built in general. So it is about a disarmament program towards chic and efficient lightweight cars. At least that is the view of Jochen Flasbarth, President of the Federal Environment Agency.

Such a program would also have an impact on the German motorway network. A kilometer of motorway currently costs around 10 million euros. Wide slopes, usually not passable for slow road users and animals, cut their way through the landscape. One of the reasons for this is the required maximum speed on German autobahns. Here, too, could be done differently. The introduction of the apparently so small and free speed limit would have resulted in serious changes. The business model of the export-oriented auto industry would also be called into question. No German politician in Germany messes with the auto industry voluntarily and without necessity. The same applies to the ADAC with around 18 million members.

The largest interest groups are against a speed limit in Germany

In the end, it is completely irrelevant whether a speed limit makes sense or not. It is crucial that the two largest interest groups in the auto industry, the ADAC and the industry itself, do not want a speed limit. As a result, it is categorically rejected by the FDP and the Union. The Greens, the SPD and the Left Party demand it again and again. What is interesting here, however, is that these demands from the Greens and the SPD only appear when both are in the opposition. As governing parties, the demand for a speed limit is somehow forgotten again and again.

In 1998 the Greens demanded 100 km / h on the autobahns, 80 on country roads and 30. As environment minister, Jürgen Trittin announced two years later that he had long since given up trying to do away with this German obsessional neurosis. In 2007 the SPD decided at its party congress to set sail towards a general speed limit. In the election campaign that followed two years later, this demand did not appear anywhere.

Speed ​​limits in other countries

Until something actually happens at the speed limit in Germany, we can compete with a few other countries at top speeds and race for what the exhaust can do. In all of Europe there is only one other region that has no speed limit: the British island of Isle of Man. No speed limit at all has yet been introduced here, neither on highways nor on back roads. An introduction in 2004 was considered, but was rejected by large parts of the population.

A speed limit was introduced in Rwanda in 2001, Australia and Tibet followed in 2007. The US state of Montana had no speed limit from 1995 to 1999, but has now also reintroduced it.

Still perfect The Indian states of Vanuatu, Pradesh and Uttar as well as Nepal, Myanmar, Burundi, Bhutan, Afghanistan, North Korea, Haiti, Mauritania, Somalia and Lebanon have no speed limit.

Nobody will be able to say at once exactly to what extent we can compete with these countries in terms of speed limits. However, one can dare to claim that in all countries without a speed limit, with the exception of Germany, no noteworthy top speeds can be achieved simply because of the road network - unless you sweep the streets in a Hoovercraft bouncy castle.