Automotive

German parliament votes to keep the Autobahns free from speed limits

German parliament votes to kee...
The limit-free autobahn system comprises around 70 percent of all major German highways
The limit-free autobahn system comprises around 70 percent of all major German highways
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The limit-free autobahn system comprises around 70 percent of all major German highways
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The limit-free autobahn system comprises around 70 percent of all major German highways

Germany's Green party attempted to have the country's famous autobahn system limited to 130 km/h (81 mph), but a parliamentary vote last Thursday overwhelmingly defeated the motion, letting drivers continue to choose their own speed freely.

The limit-free autobahn system, which comprises around 70 percent of all major German highways, is world famous, and enviously admired by many international drivers who live under much stricter controls. No "first visit to Germany" story is complete without the amazement of sitting in a cab doing more than 100 mph (160 km/h) and watching Audis and Porsches flash by you in the fast lane as if you're standing still.

These beautifully manicured multi-lane highways are designed for serious speed – as indeed are many German cars, and this, combined with the impeccable lane etiquette of German drivers makes them surprisingly safe places to explore the upper reaches of a speedometer. Despite the fact that they account for around a third of all miles driven, Autobahns see only around 12% of fatal car accidents. Speed-limited country roads, on the other hand, are where 60% of German road fatalities occur.

Periodically, though, one group or another tries to have the autobahns speed limited. This time, it was the Greens, who argued that a 130 km/h limit would potentially save lives, reduce national carbon emissions, and steer the local car industry away from high-powered Autobahn blasters and towards slower machines with smaller engines and greater efficiency, resulting in further carbon savings down the line.

Germany's federal parliament, the Bundestag, took a vote on Thursday, and the results were very clear. 498 MPs voted to leave the autobahns unrestricted, and just 126 voted for the 130 km/h limit, so the proposal was convincingly shown to the ausfahrt and some of the developed world's only truly free freeways will keep their unique status.

Source: TheLocal.de

8 comments
Haiko Visser
Very glad to hear the good news! Let common sense prevail as it is supported by the facts!
windykites
Would Autobahns be even safer if there was a lower speed limit? Of course country roads have more accidents. The roads are often more bendy, and narrower.
buzzclick
The kind of road etiquette in North America is too crude and unpredictable to have no speed limits. I have driven in France and Italy and was totally impressed how drivers respected each others' spaces. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Speed limits can also be fatiguing. And no police radar to worry about!
guzmanchinky
I have been driving the Autobahn since 1986, when my mother rented a BMW and let me drive (at 16). It has been a part of me ever since. Recently I let me car drive me along at 120mph. Someday most cars will be self driving the autobahn at those speeds, safely, electrically, and we will have to see if we can spread that to the US.
Biker Bill
The drivers in America are more than ever complete idiots. They do not use turn signals (to much trouble), they cruise along in the fast lane (which is suppose to be a passing lane), on and on. Europeans are much better at driving due to the training involved to get a license . Ask any millennial to change a tire, operate a manual transmission, or just stop texting while driving and you will get a blank stare.
bwana4swahili
Considering the damage to the German economy and cost of living caused by Green initiatives, I am 100% in agreement with this decision!
ljaques
Wow, maybe they're breaking away from Monstrous Merkel after all. Kudos to the Bundestag for the smart move. Maybe your country has a chance after all. I'd relish unlimited highway speeds here in the US, too, but would happily settle for 120mph limits. ;)
Readout Noise
@ljaques "Wow, maybe they're breaking away from Monstrous Merkel after all." Wow, maybe you're too ignorant to understand that Merkel's party actually OPPOSED the move to limit speeds.