13 Sep 2021, 13:57
Kerstine Appunn

Majority of motorists drive slower than 130 km/h on German motorways

Clean Energy Wire

Around 77 percent of motorists drive slower than 130 km/h on German motorways – even on stretches without a speed limit, a report by the Institute of the German Economy (IW Köln) finds. The speed of 130 km/h is recommended but is not a limit on the German “Autobahn”, and is one of the hot potatoes in the campaign for the general election at the end of September. Another twelve percent of motorists drive between 130 and 140 km/h, and less than two percent drive faster than 160 km/h. Only about one per cent of drivers are going faster than 160 km/h during daytime driving, the researchers, who analysed data from motorway counting stations on sections without speed limits in North Rhine-Westphalia over a period of about four months, found. During the night time hours, the proportion of fast drivers increases to four percent driving faster than 160 km/h.

The IW concludes that a speed limit on motorways – as proposed by the Social Democrats and the Green Party – is not necessary to slow down traffic in Germany and would not lead to significant greenhouse gas reductions. News magazine Focus pointed out, that if a majority was driving below the potential speed limit already, such a rule would not affect very many drivers anyway. A recent survey by pollster Insa found that 52 percent of the population are in favour of a speed limit, while 42 percent are against it.

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