‘54% of Germans in favor of 130 km/h speed limit’
A small majority of Germans is in favor of limiting the speed to 130 km/hour on the highway. This is reported by the German magazine Focus based on a poll carried out by the Kantar agency. Of those questioned, 54% said they were in favor of a speed limit, 43% were against, and 3% had no opinion.
Gap between left and right
Reducing the speed limit on the ‘Autobahn’ is especially popular among those questioned with a left-wing signature. Of the supporters of the democratic socialist party Die Linke, 78% are in favor, followed by supporters of Die Grünen (74%), SPD (71%), CDU, and CSU (56%). On the right side, the gusto is lowest: of the FDP supporters, 46% are in favor, of the right-wing populist party AfD only 18%.
Senate voted against
In Germany, although the debate is going on for years, more and more voices are being raised to stop driving at full throttle on the highway. Not only for safety reasons but also for increasing efficiency and reducing pollution – a general speed limit on highways of 130 km/hour would save 2,2 million tons of CO2.
In February, however, the German Senate voted against a proposal to limit the speed to 130 km/hour. But the discussion recently flared up again with a proposal by Die Grünen, to limit speeds to a lower limit not only on highways but also in built-up areas.
Higher fatality rate
Contrary to the popular myth, there are speed limits on the Autobahn. While there are still stretches of Autobahn where it is legal to drive at top speed (70% of the highway network is still unlimited), those sections are limited and growing more limited by the year. The recommended top speed on the German Autobahn is 130 km/hour, the legal maximum speed on highways in most European countries.
According to ANP, last year, one-third of the road deaths in Germany was caused by an accident involving hard driving. Nearly a thousand Germans lost their lives in an accident involving a speeding driver. According to European Union data, the fatality rate over each 1 000-kilometer stretch of German highways is 30,2%, well above the European average of 26,4%.
Status at risk?
German car manufacturers are producing a lot of expensive and sporty cars and were, for a long time, afraid that a speed limit would influence the sales of these very profitable vehicles.
Now that comparative research has shown that there is almost no correlation between the amount of expensive and sporty cars and reigning speed limits, the resistance of the manufacturers has almost vanished.
The question is, therefore, not whether a speed limit will ever be introduced, but when it is decided that the Autobahn will lose its status as the only series of roads in the world without a speed limit.