News Culture

Germany Considers Putting Speed Limits on the Entire Autobahn

The proposed 80 mph limit aims to curb emissions.

Speed junkies interested in visiting Germany’s famously unrestricted autobahn highway network might want to make the journey sooner rather than later. According to a Reuters report, the country is considering imposing speed limits on sections of the ‘bahn where drivers can currently go as fast as they like. 

The proposal comes from Germany’s future of transport committee which has been tasked with suggesting ideas that would reduce transport-related carbon emissions. Among the tax hikes and EV quotas was the motion to put an end to the autobahn’s speed-limitless status. According to the proposal, previously limitless stretches of road would get an 80-mile-per-hour speed limit.

Naturally, German auto industry lobbyists aren’t pleased and see the proposal as a threat to a point of national pride, notes Bloomberg. German tabloid Bild Zeitung wrote, “Our autobahnen (motorways) are a symbol of freedom. ‘Tested on German autobahn’ is a quality seal. There are enough speed limits.” 

The proposal goes on to acknowledge that many suggestions will be controversial and before we all flock to the country in rented Porsches to rocket down the autobahn before it becomes illegal, nothing is set in stone. “Not every instrument and every measure will be accepted,” the draft reads. “It will take political deftness, diplomatic skill, and a willingness to compromise to achieve the climate change goals.”

The pressure on Germany to cut down on emissions is strong with the threat of heavy EU fines on the horizon if targets aren’t met. Per the Paris Climate accord, Germany is mandated to decrease emissions generated from energy, industry, heating and cooling, and farming by the year 2030.