You won't like this.
Last week we reported that a German government committee organized specifically to find ways to help reduce air pollution suggested speed limits be placed on the famed Autobahn, among other ideas. Driving enthusiasts, understandably, were not pleased with this suggestion and vowed to lobby the German government from turning it into law. Fortunately, even some high-ranking German government officials weren't wild about imposing speed limits, but it turns out millions more do: the German public.
According to Reuters, a majority of Germans are not against setting speed limits for the Autobahn as part of a broader effort to fight climate change.
A total of 52 percent of those polled wanted speed limits to be set between 75 mph and 87 mph. Another 46 percent were in favor of retaining the status quo. Remember, not all of the Autobahn lacks speed limits, but rather "no limits" sections. The proposal set forth by the climate change study committee would, quite obviously, eliminate those sections. But the chances of this becoming law in the current German government doesn't sound too great. "The principle of freedom has proven itself. Whoever wants to drive 120 (kph) can drive 120, and those who want to go faster can do that too," said German Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer, a conservative from – where else – Bavaria, the home state of Audi and BMW. "Why this constant micromanagement?"
Scheuer also emphasized that German highways are already among the safest in the world and setting speed limits wouldn't drastically reduce carbon emissions. Less than 0.5 percent is what was predicted. He added that roughly 30 percent of Germany's highways already have speed limits and applying them to those stretches of the Autobahn won't make a serious dent in curbing emissions.
"The goal is to think about the work they're doing (the committee) and to generate results, instead of revisiting old, rejected and unrealistic demands like speed limits," he said. Spoken like a true German gearhead.