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German parliament rejects 130 km/h limit on motorways

  • October 18, 2019

A proposal by Green MPs to introduce a national 130 km/h top speed limit on motorways in Germany was rejected in a vote in the Bundestag earlier this month.

A government commission included the limit as one of a number of options for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the transport sector in a report published earlier this year.

Data analysis by the news organisation Der Spiegel found that the measure could prevent 140 deaths every year.

At the time, the German transport minister Andreas Scheuer ruled out such a measure, calling it an “unrealistic demand” and against “all common sense”.  He also stated that German motorways are “the safest in the world”.

But as ETSC noted at the time, Germany’s motorways are not the safest in the world.  Even by European standards, Germany only ranks in tenth place amongst countries that publish data on deaths per billion-km of motorway travel.  The risk of death on a German motorway is around twice as high as on a British or Danish one.

The chair of the Bundestag transport committee Cem Özdemir, a green MP, told ARD television: “The debate is similar in parts of our political elite to trying to talk to US Republicans about restrictions on guns”.

Photograph by Dirk Vorderstraße – Creative Commons license,_Kamener_Kreuz,_Rush_Hour_(11783262743).jpg