Discussion - general speed limit on highways?

The discussion is as old as my driver's license. I had just bought it when I was driving my second car on the motorway towards Munich. Car number 1 had gone up in smoke and flames a few days earlier, which is another story. From Nuremberg back then, it was a general speed limit - it was 1984. Tempo 100 or 120, I'm not quite sure anymore, changed the previously flowing into a dense, tough traffic.

Should there be a general speed limit on German motorways?
Should there be a general speed limit on German motorways?

I didn't like the trial. My car number 2, by the way, not either. Bored, he got rid of his exhaust system and later made one on V8 in Munich-Schwabing. Not bad, because my red, Japanese coupe looked quite American and hardly noticed with its soundscape in the Schwabing biotope. Other times.

One has to know, however, that the data on speed limits and emissions behavior on the motorways in the Federal Republic of Germany originated in the large-scale trials in 1984 and 85, and have since been continued and supplemented. There have been no large-scale trials in recent years. Amazing in a country that produces statistics for just about everything.

I always liked to drive fast

I admit, I always liked driving fast. I regularly pushed cars that were designed for a top speed of more than 200 km / h to the limit. Mostly it was German or Italian makes, less a Saab. The Swedes are fast too, and they have great engines. But chasing the motorway over long distances, Munich and Stuttgart can do better. Ingolstadt, if you like. In the rearview mirror that was of course politically incorrect and deeply reprehensible. But not a thing 30 years ago to think about. A little less than 2 hours of driving time at night from a hot spot in Munich Schwabing to your home address in Aschaffenburg would hardly be possible today. One of the sins of my youth, in an Audi by the way.

In the meantime I have exceeded 50 and have calmed down. I hardly care about top speed anymore. I like to drive around 140 with cruise control, I enjoy the passage of my antique Swedish cars. I am happy about long ranges and low consumption. Gliding smoothly relaxes, and all of this has something to do with age, but also with reason, climate change and resource conservation.

A general speed limit will come, it's just a matter of time. Traffic is getting denser and resources are scarcer. The increasing number of electric cars will further fuel the discussion. Electric vehicles don't like high speeds in the long run. Your range melts rapidly, the next supercharger cannot be close enough.

General speed limit - an opportunity for our Saabs?

Would a general speed limit be an opportunity for aging cars like our Saabs? The disadvantages of less recent technology are easy to name. Brakes, running gear and lighting systems are not up to date. The background noise at higher speeds does not correspond to today's level. Factors that only come into play above 120 or 130 km / h.

The advantages are bright, light-flooded interiors and large window areas. You travel, you see the environment, and you don't perceive it through the slits of a city armor. Traveling is a private matter. While online cars record the seat occupancy, interior temperature, stops, driving behavior and streamed music and report it to the manufacturer, you stay in the old car among yourself. Only the smartphone and the navigation leave traces, but you can switch them off or leave them at home.

In addition, there is less consumption and less stress when you take it easy. And could a general speed limit not be an opportunity for older vehicles and, in principle, a longer use of resources? Tomorrow I will do a self-experiment to find out how Tempo 120 affects real life.

But before that, the question for the Saab drivers. Do our readers support a general speed limit on our motorways - or do they oppose it? Click here for voting and discussion:

A general speed limit on highways?

  • I am in favor! (54% 301 Votes)
  • I'm against it! (46% 255 Votes)

Total Voters: 556

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How high should the general speed limit be? What restriction do readers see as reasonable?

Which restriction would be reasonable?

  • 140 km / h - so that not everyone falls asleep (47% 120 Votes)
  • 130 km / h would be ideal (42% 109 Votes)
  • 120 km / h would be good (8% 20 Votes)
  • 100 km / h are completely sufficient (3% 9 Votes)

Total Voters: 258

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35 thoughts on "Discussion - general speed limit on highways?"

  • @ Jens Marquardt,
    then you did exactly what the comment criticized: not thinking.

  • @ Jens Marquardt,

    The bottom line is that we should continue to drive Saab or other already produced cars for as long as possible in everyday life and prefer new cars.

    The effects are varied and quite positive and would ultimately enable us to step out of the hamster wheel and collectively create the intellectual freedom that mankind would need to save the world.

    So it's all very simple. But I don't know if it's true ...

  • I actually didn't understand anything !!

  • This is exactly the point, a fundamental rethinking is necessary, which first of all requires strict thinking. But why is there no willingness? And in order to answer this question - as strange as this point must appear on an autoblog as it must appear in contemporary society - one must look at the system. This point is so strange because it is essentially stigmatized as dreamy, unrealistic and “ideological”, i.e. irrational, by the existing conditions. The system is preserved by demarcation from the other; by upgrading itself by devaluing the alternative. From today's point of view, a possible solution must be downright strange in order to be able to change something, because the existing system with all its problems appears to be so legitimate, insurmountable and natural because its members do not at first and perhaps even second glance alienated, but seduced, distracted, spoiled, but thereby silenced unnoticed. Perhaps we have lost the ability to deal with the strange, with the alternative, first of all, to give him and her an objective chance, because we only trust the mode of quick needs satisfaction. Nowadays, there is often no longer any willingness to engage in a factual, controversial debate because the controversy cannot produce a simple, satisfactory solution in a hurry. In addition, there is the laughing at committed theoretical argumentation, motivated by the stigma of the dreamy-ideological described above and motivated by a technically cool efficiency thinking. But that is where the controversy and listening to the argumentation should go again.

    We are seduced, distracted, spoiled and immobilized unnoticed by a soothing culture industry that brings together a wide-ranging, steadily growing, complex interwoven network of leisure industries: vacation industry, television industry, social media industry, pop culture industry, entertainment industry, fashion industry, Car industry etc. In short - almost everything worth striving for is part of a consumer industry, requires the necessary financial commitment that has to be worked out, and due to the high personal effort, what is indulged in and what is most effectively sensual satisfied appears to be deserved. And what is earned is fair, right? What is just cannot be unjust and must therefore not be questioned or changed; especially when it seems to me that justice is happening to me - then in an individualized postmodern society it is difficult to understand that others may be treated unfairly (because they are exploited or even warred), or in the end even to consume and thus work fools are kept (because one's own satisfaction only lasts superficially and briefly until a new fashion is produced). Where is there a starting point? More education that enlightens (a revitalization and rehabilitation of the not primarily entertaining, but stimulating cultural and information offers and the increasingly curtailed humanities), less market in the areas that were of course under the exclusive care of the (social-market economy ) The state stood, less profit principle in general, more reflection on the basis of life in particular, as well as appreciation of the unfashionable and thus sustainably timeless. Only those who can and want to become rationally aware of their own and collective actions, and understand their implications and consequences, will be able and willing to even begin to resist the seductive offers of the numerous consumer industries and the ingrained narratives that support them.

    Does working with a Saab also fall under one of the leisure industries? Of course, but ... as long as or as soon as the Saab driving undermines the logic of the consumer industry, ie: is socially acceptable and sustainable, and does not degenerate into a self-referential fetish that leaves no room in hierarchical form for dealing with other things, it can work on a path who leads out. Saab driving is possibly socially acceptable, because our Saabs are low-priced exotic products, the maintenance of which requires medium-sized companies and / or private interpersonal contact as supported; furthermore, they are not objects of speculation and often connect people locally and culturally. They are sustainable anyway, as long as they are looked after in the honest owner manner and used appreciatively and in the long term - at all, they are used and not possibly kept as dusty delicacies next to the continuously changing leasing cars. Driving Saab in the outlined form, as well as a comparable handling of used sheet metal from other brands under similar conditions, requires and promotes many values ​​and manners that could be part of an answer, because it is not a mass-industry dependent and therefore passive consumer type, but an independent, local one and users who act in solidarity. In this sense, there are also leisure industries that do not completely blind themselves and have utopian potential. Therefore it is then perhaps not the radical rejections of everything present and previous that will be effective, but the specific rejections of that which demonstrably perpetuates or exacerbates the current problems; and the differentiated affirmation and promotion of those values ​​and manners of today that already contain the spirit of the new.

    The system question must therefore be asked unequivocally - but the answer does not need to be that of total overthrow, as is often given reflexively and in good historical practice by agents of the present in order to discredit the question as such. This ruse has effectively slowed down real progress time and time again. The answer has to be conservative in order to take as many as possible and to be practicable, and it has to be progressive in order to be able to see through and shape the seductive constraints of the system, perhaps to overcome them. The system-critical question must, however, first be allowed to be asked in the broad social debate and then actually discussed there. These are all thoughts and not political, that is, literally party-taking positions; how much less politics and more thinking is required in politics anyway; but how it also needs voters who want more thinking and less politics. Such out of date long and old-fashioned-looking posts certainly do not fit into the comment column of the Saab blog at first glance. But why not? We can and should think for ourselves all and everywhere. And people have to start somewhere.

  • One thing is certain: we will by no means save the climate with electric cars. That would be too convenient. A general rethinking of politics, business and a review of personal lifestyle would be necessary. If you really had to visit every country in the world, wouldn't Rügen be a destination instead of Malaysia? This is exactly where it starts and continues. Only I don't find a willingness to rethink anywhere.

  • Yes, there were always times. Finally, the question of whether we should take Volvo on the blog. There was a similar amount of discussion. Teaser: The topic will come back soon ...

  • It doesn't matter whether we drive 120 or 200 here for a long time. The real problems take place elsewhere on the globe and they can no longer be controlled, because politics has failed completely.
    Globalization with and because of far too cheap transport, exploitation of the third world for our throwaway society, the need for constant growth, ...
    It will burst!

  • @ Tom: I notice, not without a smile, how many comments the subject of the speed limit provokes. Has there ever been a similar “moving” topic?

  • What is the main argument for a speed limit? Safety? Environment? Oh, both. I understand.
    When it comes to security, federal roads would be worth mentioning, because they are really dangerous. 100 km / h in one direction collide with 100 km / h from the other, making a frontal accident with about 200 things against the wall, without a guardrail, without hard shoulder or similar. -very unpleasant idea.
    That translates to 120 km / h on the left lane, and 320 km / h shoots down. Admittedly scary too, but just as likely?
    And then there is the topic of sustainability. We will know what is really more sustainable in 30 years' time when 40 million (corresponding to today's vehicle inventory, because then all electric cars drive) battery-electric cars are ready for the scrap, because that won't last forever is built into the make like in the vast majority of consumer goods today. A fool who denies this.
    If you are seriously (!) Interested in the subject of resources, the environment and sustainability, the chemist Michael Braungart and his cradle-to-cradle concept are recommended. This really impressive far-ahead thinker was last seen and heard last night at “Hart aber Fair”. When we have all internalized his level of thinking, then we can again exchange ideas about marginalia such as a general speed limit ......

  • That's exactly the point!
    However, this only applies to those of us who use the SAAB in daily use. For company car drivers, the SAAB instantly turns into a hobby, and the issue of sustainability is pretty much over since it doesn't happen in everyday use. The company car is driven at short notice, there is no conservation of resources!

    Conserving resources requires a high degree of self-discipline at SAAB. It's just too much fun to occasionally let him off the leash and see the baffled faces. To this day, they do not need to hide from most of the carriages that have become fat 🙂

  • How different the perception can be: I avoid this motorway because it is a very fragile piece of traffic infrastructure: The jostling continue to jostle without loss, the snoring noses murmur with almost 100 kilometers to the left and every accident, however small, leads to the traffic freezing - practically without it Alternative routes, because the route built for the transit route was not intended.

  • I would like to add one more thing, if a speed limit of 120/130 comes in Germany, this would also have to be monitored closely and major violations punished severely so that it works and everyone really abides by it. It works in the Scandinavian countries, but in Ö, SK, CZ and many other countries, many drivers do not adhere to the prescribed speed limits and this also entails great dangers because one does not expect that one will come with 170. In Germany I am more prepared for someone to pass me at 250, so I pay more attention to it.

  • Shame shame shame

    that (despite 22 of them so far) hardly any comment picks up the questions that the author poses so many in his article.

    The questions are good and relevant. Even with old cars you can swim safely in traffic if it does not make the maximum demands on each participant according to the latest state of the art.

    The lighting, the driving performance and also the consumption values ​​of even really old boxes suddenly appear adequate again if you consider them under the condition of a speed limit.

    And no more forests will be cleared for existing vehicles, no new factories will be built. It seems to me to be sustainable ...

  • It can only work if people stop being self-centered!
    On the street, let life and life live!

  • Preference for e-cars expropriates people who are unable to afford € 30.000 for a new car !!!!

  • @ thylmuc,

    Her commentary shows so exemplarily and impressively which intellectual child is so many economically, politically or privately motivated advocates of e-mobility that one could instantly become a follower of even the most absurd conspiracy theory.

    At least you are obviously not concerned with protecting the environment and resources. Otherwise you wouldn't come up with the crude idea that it would save the world to drive as fast as possible with the largest possible batteries and cars.

    Not as much environmental awareness flows through your veins and your head as the average proponent of a speed limit. This would never come up with the completely absurd idea that the maximum use of one resource can best be countered by the maximum use of another.

    It is like replacing the industrial wastewater of one company with that of another. It takes pretty clever fish in the river, who recognize progress in it and from now on no longer swim with their stomach up ...

  • There is already such a regulation in Austria, where pure electric cars that can be identified by the green license plate can drive in IG-L zones 130 instead of 100.

  • A speed limit only for combustion engines would be absolutely not expedient. The start of a battery-powered car may be brutal, but in the end the realization remains that electric cars are absolutely not built to drive fast. The already partially “low” range melts too quickly as soon as you are beyond 130 km / h. The slower an e-car drives, the further it goes - with a lifted speed limit for e-cars, the realistic range would have to be corrected downwards quickly.

    For the apparently urgently needed exit of the burner, I also recommend the following article: https://saabblog.net/2019/10/15/der-verbrenner-wird-uns-noch-lange-begleiten/

  • The big issue is averting the climate catastrophe. To do this, the exit from combustion vehicles appears indispensable. I have therefore long been of the opinion that one of the measures should be a speed limit for combustion engines, but not for electric cars, etc., in order to create an incentive to buy such cars.

    The speed limit should also be tightened continuously, e.g. 130, 120, 110, 100, every two years.

  • I'm on the highway every day. We have a right-hand drive bid in Germany. In my view, this is increasingly being ignored. This right-hand drive requirement is often disregarded with the complacency of some drivers, even deliberately throttling the speed when overtaking, often provoking. It strikes me that this is not a uniform phenomenon nationwide, but in my opinion it is very dependent on the federal state. While in the old federal states there is rather tolerance towards the fast-moving vehicles, many drivers in the new federal states, above all Brandenburg, seem to show more defiant behavior. I am for serenity on the road, without ignorance and complacency. I also like to drive slowly when I have time and line up behind trucks. If you want to go faster, why not, then you can do it. But I'm against a speed limit. The point is that it is a political and media-effective emotional issue and a gap is still being created in the population. It contributes to the division of society. We have more important issues today. In my view, the dissatisfaction of the population is also evident here. Dissatisfaction seems to be greater in the old federal states than in Bavaria or Lower Saxony, for example. I worked in Lower Saxony for a long time and the phenomenon of ruthlessness, when someone is in a hurry, was very rare (if someone from the old BL). Politics are brought onto the freeway, the population is crushed by it, even more incited. This is increasingly evident on German motorways.

  • An interview with Cem Özdemir on the topic of general speed limit was recently seen and heard on TV. It was clear that he would speak out for a speed limit. The usual phrases would be used as arguments, pollutants, accident numbers, etc. and of course that apart from Afghanistan, an African country whose name I forgot, there is no speed limit in Germany. Aha, the world can no longer stand a western country that deviates a shade. Uniformism for everyone. At least that would also correspond to the overall social trend.
    What was interesting about this interview was that Mr. Özdemir had to admit that the number of speeders definitely decreased, which is actually my impression of the past few years. Undoubtedly also a strong argument for a speed limit.
    I have never experienced the danger to life expressed in some of the comments above, which results from a lane change from right to left, even though I drive 90% of my routes with cruise control between 120 and 130 km / h and rarely more than 140 km / left h .. If you are in a hurry, you have to wait until I finish my overtaking. Finished.
    Nevertheless, I want to be able to let my 9000 turbos off my body for 2 or 3 km on a free, dry route without going to jail ...
    I personally think that the state-wanted uniformism will also catch up with us on the highway. Why? Well, quite simply, so that the people of the lemmings no longer notice the disadvantages of an electric car compared to an internal combustion engine on long journeys.

  • I have no problem whatsoever with a 130 speed limit on our motorways, provided that in the far left lane - as far as the traffic permits - you are not allowed to drive slower than 110 km / h and driving slower is just as punished as driving faster -as-allowed-driving. But that also means that nobody is allowed to change from the right or middle lane to the leftmost lane at 90 or 100 km / h, for example. In particular, this means that trucks and buses are not allowed to overtake! on two-lane highways. IMHO that would make traffic a lot smoother than it usually is today.


  • I cannot understand the eternal discussion about the speed limit. The traffic usually slows down by itself.
    I am on the freeway every day and I do not have this heartbeat and near-dead experience. There are still jostlers and speeders, but there are also 100km / h limits and they have become significantly less. It is your fault if you are impressed by jostlers.
    I slide there with my Saab and have fun doing it, but I also like to drive my day car at 180 km / h without pushing and when there is little traffic on the highway.

  • Well what should I say as an Austrian? As an Austrian or generally from a country with a speed limit, i.e. all countries, you enjoy it and enjoy it when you can see what the car can do a few times a year. Until the end of February we have a pilot project / test trial on the western highway, two sections where you can drive instead of 130, 140. The experiences and results after 1 1/2 years were consistently positive, the traffic became more fluid, the number of accidents even decreased in this section and the emissions increased only minimally. Unfortunately, this test attempt due to the new Green Minister of Transport is unfortunately abolished. But I also have to say that I enjoy both. Driving the four-wheel drive combi under 7,3 liters, the diesel with 4 liters, but also getting ahead quickly. If you drive at times when there is little traffic and you could easily drive up to 180, it doesn't have to be 250 either, it is annoying when you can only drive about 135km / h including measurement tolerance.

  • I drive a lot in France and often there on the highways.
    Whenever I come back, my adrenaline levels go up from the Aachen fire! I continue to drive with cruise control and 130 km / h and of course have to constantly switch between right and left lane. What is very moderate and relaxed in France turns into an “aggression lab” here. This not only has to do with traffic density, but also with the extreme speed differences between the lanes and within the lanes. This requires a very high level of attention that nobody can devote to long - not even professional racing drivers. And many of these road racers stay accident-free because the others are watching out for them! That puts the answer "because I can!" when asked “why are you driving so fast?”. So: an unrestricted “yes” to the speed limit to drive more relaxed, and that's also fun! By the way, when I want to drive fast, I drive to the Nürburgring and give my Saab the spurs - wonderful!

  • In this context, it should be borne in mind that the target speed of 130 km / h is not a completely toothless paper tiger, even if it looks like it at first glance.
    So far, however, probably only those who got involved in an accident that was not their own fault at first, but who were then given complicity in court, because according to the expert opinion, they could have prevented the accident if they had driven at maximum speed ,

    Driving at more than 130 km / h can therefore significantly reduce your own demands on the opponent, even if not everyone is probably aware of it, or take this risk consciously because you consider it (possibly negligible) to be small.
    If the latter reason prevails, the question naturally arises how many would adhere to a speed limit of 130 km / h if exceeding it is considered to be a negligible risk.

    Incidentally, I have been of the opinion for about 20 years that a speed limit of 150 km / h should be introduced. That could at least help avoid the most violent speed differences and if there is no majority for it, one probably no longer needs to think about less, because it is against common sense, or something like that ...

  • Good morning.

    I like to drive quickly when the road and situation allow it (e.g. A23 northwards).

    But I can also live with a speed limit, there are often enough anyway.
    (And most countries in the world have that and they are also arriving). 😉

    In addition, my 2011'er will "drive" me at some point and automatically brake me at 210 km / h.
    And “cruising” instead of “racing” is usually more fun with my car anyway.

    And I usually don't get there much faster with “full throttle” - at least on my usual routes - but then always much less relaxed!

  • We are experiencing a turning point. The subject of free travel is no longer up to date, and free lawn is definitely not. Also because the type of vehicles has changed. In the past there was equal weight, today the 2.5 ton SUV crashes into the small car with mother and child. It is not acceptable.

  • Yes, with age you become calmer and drive slower, more relaxed. I feel the same way about vacationing in Denmark, but even there I noticed the fatigue of strolling around in front of me.
    In Germany sometimes over the 200 with the 9-5NG, mostly 160, if the road holding permits.
    Perhaps you can do it the other way around, generally 130km / h (or 140 why not 160?) ... and on routes with little traffic, in good weather conditions that are structurally acceptable, for drivers over 18 (21, 35 or 60: -O ) who also have no points, one of the aforementioned km / h as a recommended speed, while at the same time tightening the penalties for: jostling, driving to the left, not blinking! Ok, now sounds like a job creation scheme for traffic lawyers. 😉

  • You have to …

    ... just imagine how high the tempo differences are on a 2-lane motorway with no limit from one lane to the other.

    If you want to overtake a bus or truck and move from the right lane to the left lane, it is sometimes like parking in a city center where 150 and more are allowed. It is completely ridiculous, it is simply impossible.

    I like to drive and prefer to drive quickly, but not at any cost. Several braking maneuvers including intervention by ABS, subsequent and renewed acceleration to the next gas station have convinced me that I can get to my destination just as quickly, relaxed, at lower costs and in a more environmentally friendly manner if I content myself with the correct speed.

    It also seems to me to be worth considering that the German speed limit (i.e. its absence) is an anachronism from times when cars with a top speed of 150 to 175 were still very easy to manage as record-breaking super sports cars.

    It cannot and must not be that we will continue to apply this historical and long outdated standard for all cars that are now easily 100 to 150 km / h faster ...

  • My “field test” took place in DK for years. Every year on vacation stayed for 3 weeks. either the West or the Danish. East coast hip. Wonderfully relaxed and economical driving was the order of the day. Then, after 3 weeks, the border crossing at Flensburg: within the first (!) Kilometers of the A7 the horror was announced. Pushing, honking, flasher and li. Continuous flashing made us immediately clear where we were. At that time, hyggelig was not an official language for cozy Danes. Alredy today. We in the Federal Republic are miles away from it.
    Today I drive a lot with the cruise control. Easy cruising. Since I can feel relaxation ;-) arriving relaxed has a value for me.
    All readers a sunny relaxing day!

  • Regarding the statement "No current large-scale tests have taken place in recent years."
    Yes, there is. For some years now on a 60 km section of the A24 between Hamburg and Berlin. There is completely regulated to 130. I find it relaxing to drive there. Once the cruise control is set to the speed of the column and then let it run. No agitation and gap jumping.
    And the statistics speak for themselves:
    From 2007, but the data should not have changed much.

  • For the German auto industry, the introduction of a general speed limit would be another catastrophe. German cars are considered to be the safest in the world at high speeds. The argument 'I could drive really fast if I wanted to' apparently still helps to sell German cars well in the many countries with speed limits.

    I worked at Daimler-Benz from the 1980s to the mid-1990s. At the time, tests had shown that the flow of traffic would be best for everyone if the speed was reduced to 80 km / h. We quickly left the results in the drawer. We didn't want to ruin our business.

    Thanks to this knowledge, I personally decided at that time to only maintain the top speed of 100 km / h. With my modern car with cruise control, I often don't even go faster than 80 km / h. I have always moved my Saab Cabrio in this area.

    I don't get to my destination much later, but much more relaxed.

  • sorry, from Holland to Austria via Germany

  • Tempo limit (in Germany)
    Next week I'll be driving one of my Saabs. With V6 2.8. Of course I drive as at home, where 100 speed limits will be introduced again this year. Sorry, but because of stupid and idiotic raison.
    Otherwise 150 km / h is enough for me. I turned> 60 and almost 69. Keep driving SAAB. Until driving license is withdrawn.

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