• Oct 29, 2007
It looks like Germany's autobahn system is safe from a potential increase of speed-limited areas, for now at least. As posted on numerous occasions, environmentalists, the European Union and even citizens of Germany have called for the adaptation of 80 mph (130 km/h) limits in the currently ungoverned sections. However, today the Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, publicly rejected a proposal aimed at reducing automotive emissions through autobahn speed regulations. Thankfully, Mrs. Merkel is a logical woman as she stressed that traffic jams caused by slow vehicles contribute as much greenhouse gas as a few speedsters. She offered better traffic management as a more effective solution to the Autobahn issue. Now, if only Angela Merkel could bring her ideas over to California.

[Source: Piston Heads]



I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 19 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      It doesn't seem completely logical to me. The speed limit is 80mph, am I suppose to believe that this limit will cause traffic jams?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Come’ere girl, let me massage your shoulders ;^). Oh, sorry that’s been done already? Hey at least I won’t be as creepy as that last guy...
      • 7 Years Ago
      There's all sorts of reasons we couldn't have this in North America:
      1) NA drivers have no lane discipline. I'm talking about the rampant weaving in and out of traffic . You don't see that in Germany.
      2) NA drivers have no concept of "conditional speed limits". The Autobahn does has speed limit signs that light up--and change--depending on traffic and weather. And Germans obey them.
      3) NA truck drivers are sociopaths. There are 65km/h and 80km/h limits for heavily loaded vehicles and/or semis. I cannot see some amphetamine-pushing, deadline-pressed Quebecois trucker going 65km/h when the limit for other vehicles is 140+.
      4) NA drivers just have to push that little bit more. Germans will obey the limits when they apply. Not so much here.
      5) The first accident at 140+ will result in lawsuits against the state. You can expect the first "Bobby-Joe's Law" to set speeds at 80km/h if any children are killed.
      6) NADM vehicles just aren't geared (or designed) for this kind of driving. The stupid transmission tuning (hi, GM!) that allows you to 0-60 in less than six will either have you doing 4000 rpm at 140, and/or have your engine/transmission baking in an hour. Assuming you don't run out of gas first.


      The last point isn't universally applicable, but the first five certainly are. I think the adrenalin junkies would ruin any attempt at this before it even got off the ground.

      I'd like to see police officers enforcing stuff like unsafe lane changes and tailgating for a few years instead of the easy cash grab that is speeding. Then, and only then, would I expect this is be possible.
        • 7 Years Ago
        i've lived in germany and america... germans follows speed limits just as poorly as americans... they are more lane conscious though.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Miguel,

        I agree with all of your points, except the first one. I think when psarhjinian complained about weaving, he meant guys that are going 20km/h faster than everyone else and are constantly cutting people off and weaving through traffic without slowing down. But you point about the slow person in the left lane is also true, people need to learn how to drive in the lane that matches their speed.
        • 7 Years Ago
        1) North American drivers have no lane discipline BECAUSE of the speed limit issues. When I'm in the far left lane, blithely and happily cruising along between 65 and 70 MPH, I come upon the nice little soccer mom, happy to drive between 55 and 60 while EVERYONE passes her. Consistent speed and respect for the flow of traffic in a lane-to-lane situation would eliminate this "weaving" you speak of.
        2) Conditional speed limits have to be addressed on a local level, not a national or even provincial one. Germany is smaller than a good number of STATES (and we won't even talk about the massive provinces of Canada), and accordingly, the relative climate of the whole area is fairly consistent. Around Seattle, there are no "conditional" speed limits except on the mountain passes--where, yes, there are massive LED boards that display the current speed limit due to condition changes--and when it rains, everyone slows down anyway because it's part of our driver's ed. Not to mention "drive more cautious in hazardous weather" is something akin to common sense.
        3) Amen! And at least in the States, industrial lobbies insure their dominance. In Washington state, the Washington State Patrol (our highway police) does RIDE-ALONGS with truckers to make sure that no one "cuts off the trucks," but I never see a truck pulled over for obvious offenses: speeding, going TOO slow (imagine that from a truck), using the size of their rig to literally bully their way into a lane (reckless driving anyone?) or driving NOT in the two right-most lanes (a matter of law), or dump trucks with uncovered loads when all passenger vehicles are required to have secured and covered loads. If I get another ding from a rock flying off a truck, I'm going to go nuts.
        4) Reference issue #1 and #2. If I can legally drive 90 MPH, I'm not going to feel compelled to "push that extra bit more." But when I'm out in eastern Washington with nothing but wide open roads and wheat fields ahead of me, 99% of the time on a straightaway...why am I going 70? There isn't another car in sight, let alone a city to produce high traffic volume...oh, it's because of short-sighted, idiotic speed limit laws.
        5) True, true. But courts have the right to throw cases out of the system. It's just as much a fault of the system for hearing the cases as it is letigious Americans'.
        6) Change the conditions under which we drive, and the manufacturers will adjust accordingly. GM, Chrysler and Ford gear their cars for typical American driving. Typical American driving changes, the gears change. It's pretty simple.

        All that refutation aside...yeah, it'll never happen here, and it's really depressing.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Amen!

      There is one place every car nut on earth dreams of driving, and that is Germany. I have been fortunate enough to experience it, and I'm dying to go back. But I couldn't help but think that the one time I did might be my last, as the CO2, global warming, environmental-wacko, Al Gore-lovefest hippies (especially in Europe) would soon take it away from us.

      We all love you Germany. Keep the roads free for yourselves, but please know that what you do or don't do affects the dreams of millions all around the globe.

      Keep up the good fight, for all of us!

        • 7 Years Ago
        In a place where speeds average 100 mph, and speeds may top out at 160 mph, a driver MUST stay alert at all times, aware of the traffic surrounding her/him. 55 mph makes you want to doze off.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I have driven in Germany a little and while better, there are still the occasional lane hogs and oblivious driver. Almost no eating or talking on the phone though. Can't wait to go back again early next year!
      • 7 Years Ago
      This is absolutely brilliant!! this is exactly the kind of thinking that is required everywhere. GO CHANCELLOR!!
      it totally makes sense. This could be said along with the old joke, " why is it called rush hour, when no one is moving?" if people move slowly, there is always a jam. always! like for example, if you are standing a signal 12 cars behind the line, all those cars in front (and around) have their engine running: causing 'pollution'. but if everyone took off a bit quicker from the light there would be fewer people still slowly trecking of the line creating more fuel waste. there is a reason we consume a bit less of fuel when we are on the highway, compared to lets say the city. German drivers are fantastic compared to North Americans, i bet a lot of us would agree on that! they drive fast, properly, use their turn signals, and create less pollution!
      (btw: speed is great, if you AND your car can handle it! )
      • 7 Years Ago
      What a smart woman. I don't say that often
      • 7 Years Ago
      also police need to crack down on people holding up the fastlanes! That should land you the biggest ticket!! if only i were a cop...
        • 7 Years Ago
        Amen to that. Either they don't know the rules or they choose to ignore them. Either way they should be taken off the road and have to re-sit the licence test.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I want to bring Mrs. Merkel over here to Ontario, Canada and put some sense into the minds of the politicians that are ruling this province with draconian speed laws.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I live in Ontario too. But the thing is, our roads are torn up and most of the cars on the 401 are old clunkers so higher speed limits would be a bad thing. Just imagine bow bad things would get in the rain or snow. There are hundreds of crashes a month on the 401 as it is, raising the speed limit isn't going to help that. That being said, I'm not some tree hugging fool, I'm 18 and I like driving fast but our roads are simply not good enough for the Autobahn train of thought.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Please Angela, come to Australia and talk some sense into our politicians. We live in one of the most sparsely populated countries in the world, yet the highest speed permitted is 110km/h and doing 3km/h over will score you a sizeable fine and take a quarter of your licence points. Now, shock horror! fatigue is causing crashes. Funny how driving on a mostly straight road at 100km/h for several hours could be considered boring... possibly not even mentally stimulating enough to keep a driver awake. According to research done by mercedes benz, fatigue is a more significant factor in road accidents than excessive speed and this research was done in a country where there are no speed limits on some roads and is the size of the state that I live in. Apply that theory to my trip to see the relatives who live over 1000km away and you see where I'm going with this argument.
      Having said all this, in Germany you actually have to pay a significant amount of money to get your licence and you even have to learn to drive properly. If they introduced these concepts here the road toll would be cut in half, as would my blood pressure. You see I have to drive for an hour to get to work and find myself on several occasions every day, contemplating what I would do to certain people if I had a bull bar.
      Ok, that's my rant for the day. In summary I am sick to death of politicians applying their sheer stupidity to traffic laws when they obviously get chauffeured around and dont have to deal with the consequences.
      Please save us Angela, you are our only hope.
    • Load More Comments