Authorities in Germany have taken action.
Maxing out a Bugatti Chiron on Germany's unrestricted Autobahn is a dream come true for any gearhead. But for a certain Czech businessman, it's about to turn into a nightmare. Following his 257-mph run, local authorities were angered at Radim Passer for his actions, stating they look down upon "any behavior in road traffic that leads or can lead to endangering road users. All road users must abide by the rules of the road traffic regulations."
Because parts of the German highway have no speed limits, it was first thought that displeased authorities could not punish Passer for his actions. But now it seems the 58-year-old may face charges after all, with police in Saxony-Anhalt confirming a file has been passed on to prosecutors. It means that Passer could be facing a jail sentence of two years. Speaking to UK-based publication The Sun, the region's transport chief, Linda Hueskens, said drivers need to behave responsibly when no speed limit is posted. "In this case, there are certainly very serious doubts as to whether that happened."
Following the speedy run, Passer boasted about the sprint. "We thank God for the safety and good circumstances, as we were able to reach the speed of 414 km/h!" While the Chiron owner claims safety was a top priority, his high-speed antics haven't sat well with local officials. In the past, various political parties have campaigned to implement an 81-mph speed limit on the highway, for both environmental and safety reasons.
It's not just the ruling Socialist Democrat Party who wants the speed limit. F1 World Champion Sebastian Vettel has also expressed support for it. "You have to look at the big picture," said Vettel. "A speed limit would save almost two million tons of CO2 emissions. And it would reduce accidents. Make it a bit safer. There are accidents in Germany that only happen because we don't have a speed limit. If you only save the life of one person, that's a no-brainer for me."
Interestingly, this isn't the wealthy businessman's first Autobahn blast. The Sun reports Passer had hit 250 mph in his Bugatti Veyron on a previous run in 2015. It's also worth noting that prior to Passer posting the high-speed run on YouTube, authorities were unaware of the event. For years, people have taken their high-performance vehicles to the Autobahn to see what they're truly capable of, with many even posting the footage online afterward. None of them seem to have faced the possibility of a prison sentence, though.
With Passer, it's very likely the authorities want to make an example out of the Czech millionaire. While his behavior may be frowned upon in select social circles, it was still an unrestricted stretch of road. It will be interesting to see whether German prosecutors will successfully bring charges against the businessman and whether this may signal the end of the unrestricted Autobahn. We hope not.