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Limiting Speed on the Autobahn?

German politicians are once again thinking about introducing a speed limit on the country's highways. DW-WORLD readers came out on either side of the issue.

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Sometimes they're too fast to notice

I think 140 kilometers per hour (87 miles per hour) is an ideal speed limit to drive. I have driven a German automobile and they are of very high quality and extremely durable. They can handle that speed well without causing any accidents. -- Devon T. Sanderson

Having had the opportunity to live both in the U.S. and Germany, I have the insight of someone who has driven in countries that have vastly different views on driving and speed limits. Most of our drivers are not prepared for driving and have no concept of the rules of the road and traffic laws in general. Germany on the other hand, has a formal process for driver training and testing that is vastly superior to ours and as a result produces drivers that are more able to handle driving in dense fast moving traffic and have acute awareness of the rules of the road and traffic laws in general. My experience in Germany revealed that most German drivers are well mannered and know the road rules down to the last detail and rarely drive in excess of the posted limits. I don't feel that limiting speeds on the autobahn is the real answer: Unfit or unreasonable drivers should be shown the joys of public transportation. Permanently. -- Kenneth Wilson, USA

One hundred and thirty-six miles per hour: I can't imagine, it sounds really dangerous. I go 80 miles per hour sometimes, but that's about it. Can you force someone to refrain from being hell-bent? I suppose so. I've never driven on the autobahn, I'd have to see how it was before advocating any restrictions. -- David Westling, USA

What's next, outlawing good beer? What a shame that such a thought could possibly occur. I suppose a general speed limit would be in keeping with Germany's overall demise. First it was capitalism, now the automobile. I'm glad I spent so much time in Germany, and drove 300 kilometers per hour, when it was still a great country. Closing the Nürburgring (race track) can't be far off either. -- Carl Mahrenholz

A limit of 130 kilometers per hour is not that restrictive. As long as the roads are kept up there is no reason to go to the extremes we have gone to in the U.S. People will exceed the limit whatever it is if it is not enforced. Here in Florida, 75 to 80 miles per hour is the norm on most major roads and as long as the limits are not enforced, people will continue to speed. Personally I feel safer on the autobahn that on any of the major highways in the U.S. -- D.C. Peck

Driving is not a born trait. By slowing down the cars you cut emissions. Cut down on panic stops and the snobery that goes with "I am there fore I can." Better mileage occurs at even slower speeds. Freedom is not harming others. -- William Old

Speed limits are a ludicrous idea. Americans all know that speed limits on the open highway are a joke at best, and the cause of accidents at worst. The enforcement is uneven, and the limits are usually unreasonable. Limits in town or on dangerous sections of roadway are understandable. But a speed of 120 kilometers per hour between Basel and Karlsruhe is ridiculous. If drivers obey the rules and customs of the road, speed limits are unnecessary and counterproductive. Speed limits only get discussed or enforced when politicians want to steal money from citizens without raising taxes. -- Michael Kreger








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