German Parliament Votes Down Proposed 130-KPH Autobahn Speed Limit
The unrestricted sections of the German autobahn are safe—for now.
You may know Germany as the country without speed limits on its extensive highway network, but let us deflate that balloon with two factoids: First, there are some speed limits on sections of the German autobahn (in denser urban areas, for example), and second, factions of the government have been repeatedly trying to institute a national speed limit. Most recently, the topic came up for a vote this January, but the country's parliament shut it down. Today, there was yet another vote for limiting autobahn speeds to 130 kph, or about 80 mph. It, too, is reported to have been swatted down. Whew!
What does this mean for you? Well, if you've never been to Germany or experienced high-speed travel—legally!—we suggest you buy yourself a plane ticket and rent a car, and soon. You never know when Germany's Green party could eke out a parliamentary win and get its wish of doing away with unrestricted sections of autobahn. The moves come soon after one American legislator had been pushing to create speed-limit-less lanes in California.
The argument for speed limits goes something like this: High speeds are dangerous and if accidents occur, are thereby more likely to be fatal; oh, and cars rocketing along at triple-digit speeds spew more climate-changing emissions. There is little doubt that the latter point is correct, but the former falls into a grayer area. After all, German licensing requirements are very tough, and despite recent erosion in autobahn lane etiquette, Germans are still way, way better than most anyone else at driving in general, as well as staying in slow lanes when traveling slowly and passing quickly and safely to allow faster-moving traffic to whiz by.
So, bone up on your high-speed driving skills (they're not to be taken lightly—so be safe out there) and get to Germany for some warp-speed road travel. Just as an FYI, the next vote on a German national speed limit is said to be coming up in February of 2020.