End of unrestricted German Autobahn as ‘testing playground’?
After another deadly accident on an unrestricted part of the Autobahn in Germany caused by a ‘racing’ Lamborghini, winds are changing. The demand for a 130 km/hour speed limit sounds louder.
Car-crazy road hogs are often crossing the border from France, Belgium, the Netherlands, or Switzerland. They see the German highways as the ideal ‘testing playground’ for their expensive toys. The road safety council (Deutscher Verkehrssicherheitsrat) finally advocates the 130 km/hour speed limit after recognizing that the death toll was much higher on unrestricted stretches.
The unrestricted Autobahn network is typically German as leather shorts, beer, and ‘Wurst’. However, that sacrosanct institution for some speed lovers is under threat due to its constantly rising casualties. Currently, the country’s Green Party is the only one fully pushing for a countrywide 130 km/hour speed limit. Things could soon change.
After yet another deadly crash on the A66, where a Dubai-registered Lamborghini caused an accident that resulted in a 71-year-old driver’s death, many castigate the wrong attractiveness of the unrestricted Autobahn sections.
One of the favorite ‘playgrounds’ of road hogs is the A95 between Munich and Garmisch-Partenkirchen, offering 60 km of unrestricted highway. The police regularly notice ‘races’ held between youngsters, sometimes with a deadly outcome.
After two people got killed in such a highway race near Berlin, the German parliament voted a law in 2017 that no longer treats the latter as ‘speed infringement’ in case of an accident, but as a crinal offense. Punishment can go as far as ten years of imprisonment.
“Anyone who behaves in this selfish way has no business being behind the wheel of a sports car. He should be behind prison bars,” declared the Regional Minister of the Interior, Peter Beuth (CDU).
Speed limit as soon as 2021?
Despite the automotive industry’s and the uber-conservative Transport Minister’s views, the tide is turning. Speeding is still responsible for 400 deaths per year on the Autobahn, but the Road Safety Council (Deutscher Verkehrssicherheitsrat) finally advocates the 130 km/hour speed limit.
Such a speed limit could reduce the risk of serious injuries by 25%. Furthermore, the majority of Germans are in favor of it, according to surveys (52%). It’s only a matter of time. The end of the unrestricted Autobahn could come with the next legislature in 2021 if the environmentalists agree to join forces with the conservatives.