Germany: Majority want autobahn speed limits | DW | 29.10.2021
A new survey shows that most people in Germany are in favor of abandoning the country’s policy of having highways with no speed limit.
However, the issue has already been taken off the table in talks to form a new coalition government.
What Germans think about autobahn speed limits
According to the poll by public broadcaster ARD, 60% of Germans think there should be a speed limit of at least 130 kilometers per hour (80 mph). That represents an increase of three percentage points from June.
Only 38% said there should not be a limit at all.
The poll found that curbing highway speeds was a much more popular piece of climate policy than other options, such as taxing meat and dairy products.
Some 39% of people in Germany support a tax on animal products — a drop of nine percentage points from June. On the other hand, 57% are still against it.
An increase in gas prices was the most unpalatable solution to Germans, with 78% rejecting a hike in fuel taxes.
Autobahn speed limits and coalition talks
The parties involved in talks to form a new government appear out of step with public sentiment.
While coalition negotiations with the center-left Social Democrats (SPD) and environmentalist Greens are ongoing, neither party put up a public fight for a nationwide cap.
All three parties have expressed a desire to do more to protect the environment.
What are the rules on Germany’s autobahns?
The parliament of the former West Germany voted to abolish speed limits in 1952.
It gave powers to decide on the matter to Germany’s individual states.
Limits were reintroduced on urban roads and on potentially hazardous routes between cities.
However, numerous rural stretches of autobahn have still no restrictions.