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Mention "Autobahn" to an automotive enthusiast, and his or her eyes instantly light up. That single word represents miles upon miles of traditionally unrestricted high-speed roadways throughout the German countryside connecting major towns and cities.

While sections of the Autobahn have been speed restricted for years, the city of Bremen in northern Germany has just become the first state to introduce a speed limit on all of its Autobahn areas today. While the news instantly sent shudders through our throttle feet, further investigation revealed the state of Bremen has just 60 km (about 37 miles) of roadway within its jurisdiction. Regardless, for the automotive passionate among us, this move is a frightening baby-step for the German Green party (Die Grünen) and the Social Democrats (Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands). Both groups not only oppose unrestricted speeds on the Autobahn, but they also share the power in Bremen. Thankfully, German Chancellor Angela Merkel continues to rule out a national speed limit for the Autobahn.

[Source: Automotive News - subs. req'd, Photo by Johannes Simon/Getty]



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 47 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      I'm german and since I'm allowed to vote (finally) I will vote for FDP or CDU (liberals or conservatives) just because of this.....

      Every german car-enthusiast shouldn't vote for the greenparty or the social democrats... and the biggest controversy is that the greenparty wants to shutdown all atom reactors, and with what do they want to provide the missing energy ?..... with coal energy plants.... how stupid is that ????
      • 7 Years Ago
      NooooOOOOOOoooOO00000ooo))))000000ooo))0oooOOOooooooO!!!!!!!11111eleventy111!!!!!!!!1.
        • 7 Years Ago
        NEEEEEEEIIIIIINNNNNNNNN
      Frank
      • 7 Years Ago
      I sense a great disturbance in the force....
        • 6 Years Ago
        @Frank
        Gooood.....Goooog.....let the hate flow through you....
      Love my Benz
      • 6 Years Ago
      If only Americans would understand the rules that the Eisenhower Interstate system was based on, the German autobahn, we would have a faster, safer interstate speed limits. We lived in Germany 6 years and saw that playing/obeying the rules is the key to the success of the German autobahn. It's maddening how Americans thinks the left lane is the DRIVING lane! Or better yet, thinking that driving the speed limit in the left lane, backing up traffice behind them, somehow gives them the power they lack in all aspect of their normal life. I say "get a life" and stay out of the left lane. German drivers are far more disciplined and knowledgeable of the rules than American drivers. Beleive me, those speed limits if adverse traffic conditions exist work. We were No. 1 in a nine care pile up going to Garmisch at autobahn speeds. Everyone slowed when the limits were posted and there were no major injuries. However, our Mercedes was totaled...so sad.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I am German and I am not too worried about speed limits on the autobahn any time soon. This issue is in a way comparable to gun control in the US. Most people in Germany are totally against speed limits. Politicians in Germany in general are just as much concerned about being reelected as in the US. Subsequently, their political well being is definitely connected to this issue. Currently over 50% of the autobahn are still without speed limits at all. To that add several more stretches which are only under speed limit if adverse traffic conditions exist, like rain, high crosswinds, fog etc. These are controlled by electronic, variable traffic signs. The speed limits put into effect then will vary, again depending on conditions. As far as speed differences are concerned, they obviously exist. However, traffic laws are such that they have less of an impact than in the US. A large percentage of the autobahn has 3 lanes instead of the customary two. The center and left lanes are for passing only, meaning that if no passing is necessary, cars must drive in the right lane. That effectively results in the slow traffic being on the right, the faster traffic in the middle and the really fast cars on the left. In addition, it is illegal to pass on the right. Those traffic laws sort things out quite nicely. But there is no question that one must be much more concentrated on driving than when going no faster than 70 or 80 mph. Especially at speeds faster than 100 0r 120 mph, things come at you in a real hurry. You simply have no time carrying on any in depth conversations. I drive a lot on the A3 between Frankfurt and Cologne and I regularly go between 120 and 140 mph. Unfortunately, my car won't go any faster.
      • 7 Years Ago
      There's a smart, followed by an A6, followed a 5-series, and then a 7-series IN THE PASSING LANE.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Granny to the left, sounds like the good'ol USA to me.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Oh I wasn't implying that the Smart was slow, I was pointing out those cars haha
        • 7 Years Ago
        smart aren´t as slow as most US people think...

        here a video of a smart running down the Autobahn with 170km/h (106mph) ... why should he stay right with that speed?

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ege1KswAyTw
      • 6 Years Ago
      I emailed my very good friend who lives in Bremen about this. The reduction is to 120kph from 6am to 8pm. After that it is unrestricted. It was reduced because of heavy congestion, no other reason.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Shameless TAX grab. No other incentive possible.
      It saddens me to think the last bastien of free will eventually be shut down by municipal revenue legislation.
      cae303
      • 6 Years Ago
      Visited Germany in October for a week ..drove Autobahn every day with friend for many miles in large engine E class Benz.The highest speed we attained was about 110 mph for a very short time...todays traffic on autobahn and safety prevented faster speeds...slower traffic must stay to the right ...if you change lanes and pass another vehicle you can Not do it to the right...
      dallas
      • 6 Years Ago
      most people can't drive 50 let alone unlimited speed
      • 7 Years Ago
      Bremen is one of the three German states that constitute a city and a is major hub... You'll find the same in the States of Berlin and Hamburg and in fact around any other city... de-restricted autobahns you will find where the traffic is a lot less than in it is in major urban areas...
      • 6 Years Ago
      To the uninitiated, there always HAS been a speed limit on the Autobahn. In the 70s when I was there, it was posted EVERYWHERE at 140 kph. If it's since been lowered to 120 kph, all the better. It's the same there as it is here....... the drivers ALWAYS exceed the speed limit. So, lowering it might slow them down.... besides, the German Police use different cars for different jobs... on the Autobahn, they use Porsches.... in the cities, depending on the size of the city, they use VW Scirrocos (or the latest incarnation) OR, VW Rabbits.... (again, update if necessary)....... but not many of the idiots in Germany can outrun the Polizei in their Porches.
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