EU Proposal Aims to Put the Brakes on Fast Cars | Europe| News and current affairs from around the continent | DW | 27.06.2007
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EU Proposal Aims to Put the Brakes on Fast Cars

A British member of the European Parliament has introduced a proposal to limit the top speed of all new cars sold in the European Union. The proposal criticizes German car makers for producing fast autos which pollute.

If you can't slow down the driver, slow down the car

If you can't slow down the driver, slow down the car

Chris Davies has proposed putting the brakes on speedy sports cars which pollute the environment. The British European parliamentarian and member of the Liberal Democrats wants all cars produced in the EU to have a top speed of 162 kilometers per hour (100 mph) that by 2013.

"At a time when Europe has concerns over its energy security it is sheer madness to allow gas-guzzling cars to be built which are allowed to travel at a dangerous speed which is totally forbidden by law," Davies said Tuesday.

The speed on most European highways is 130 km/h. Germany is an exception, as many stretches of the autobahn do not have any speed limits.

"Driving a car (faster than) that is against the law in every country but Germany," Davies said, according to Reuters. "It's nonsense. I believe it needs to be countered."

Driving the speed limit

Zwei Lkw passieren am 8. Juli 2003 eine elektronische Mautstation DEU VERKEHR MAUT BGL

Most European countries have speed limits

The German government has consistently refused to consider a comprehensive speed limit on its freeways. The German automobile industry is strong and driving fast in a German-made Porsche or BMW is considered a sacred right by some drivers.

"We do not support this direction," German Transportation Minister Wolfgang Tiefensee said of the proposal.

Germany backs other measures to improve road safety and cut emissions including new traffic management technology, congestion avoidance, road tolls and more driver education.

"These are modern approaches," Tiefensee said, adding that drivers who spend less time snarled in traffic need less fuel.

Cutting CO2

Autoverkehr Auspuff Abgase

The EU wants greener cars

The Liberal Democrats' plan as it was presented to the European Parliament also calls for cutting carbon dioxide emissions to 120 grams per kilometer by 2015 and 95 grams per kilometer by 2020. Davies said cars could meet higher standards of energy efficiency using existing technology.

Currently, cars in the European market emit 162 grams per kilometer.

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