107 Cars Seized by German Police in Massive Street Racing Bust on Autobahn
Parts of the Autobahn may not have a speed limit, but that doesn’t mean it’s smart to have over 100 cars going flat out.
German Police seized 107 cars in connection to a suspected street racing event that allegedly went on during an unsanctioned road rally through Germany.
According to Frankfurter Allgemeine, a Gumball-style Norwegian road rally by the name "Eurorally" was being run through Germany on Thursday. This event, which reportedly cost €799 (about $893) to enter, was a multi-day trip across Europe, starting in Norway's capital of Oslo before progressing through Kiel, Germany to Szczecin, Poland, and finally to Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic. Most of the rally's participants, according to police, are Norwegian nationals and have plates denoting Norwegian registration.
Eurorally's second leg, on Thursday, was to be a one-day sprint between Kiel and Szczecin, using a section of largely delimited Autobahn called the A20. There, the rally's participants allegedly raced each other at speeds of up to 250 mph (155 mph), resulting in reports of street racing received by law enforcement.
Police caught up to a group of more than 100 cars, all bearing "Eurorally" windshield vinyl at a rest area along the Autobahn. There, German authorities reportedly seized 107 cars on the suspicion of street racing and endangering road traffic. More of the rally's participants are believed to have evaded punitive measures, based on photos posted to social media showing cars with the "Eurorally" vinyl in Gdansk, Poland.
The Bundespolizei (Germany's Federal Police) reportedly set up stationary and mobile checkpoints along the rally's planned route to watch for any more incidents of street racing, and also patrolled the roadway with a pair of helicopters.
"The onward journey is definitely suppressed," a police spokesperson reportedly told media.
There have yet been no reports of accidents caused by the alleged street racing, but incidents such as these may be contributing to a change in German public opinion on delimited sections of the Autobahn. One poll found that by a narrow margin, the majority of German citizens support adding speed limits to the entirety of the Autobahn highway network, which could bring the country's famous free-for-all speeds to an end. Conservative German officials, however, have opposed limiting the Autobahn's speeds wholesale.
California has proposed adding lanes without speed limits to some of its highways, though the bill has raised questions about whether American drivers are skilled enough to handle this kind of freedom.