Speed ​​limit of 130 km / h: facts and figures

Speed ​​limit of 130 km / h: facts and figures

The Federal Council will debate the amendment to the Road Traffic Regulations on Friday and – on the recommendation of the Environment Committee of the State Council – will also vote on a general limit of 130 kilometers per hour on motorways. The reasons given are less fuel consumption, fewer climate-damaging emissions and more traffic safety. What do the numbers say?

More than 70 percent of the motorway sections in Germany are currently accessible without a speed limit. How big would the effect of a speed limit be?

Emil Nefzger, DER SPIEGEL Mobility
A speed limit would of course bring something to reduce the CO2 emissions of car traffic. It would be much more important, however, if one wants to get at the emissions from car traffic, to ensure fewer traffic jams or less stop-and-go traffic in cities because the CO2 emissions are significantly higher here.

Road traffic in Germany is responsible for around twelve percent of all CO2 emissions. According to estimates, even with a limitation of 120 km / h on motorways, this proportion would only decrease by a maximum of 0.5 percentage points.

There is also much debate about how much a general speed limit could reduce the number of accidents. The highest number of fatalities in Germany occurred in 1970 with a total of 21,332 fatalities. This was followed by the introduction of the maximum speed of 100 km / h on country roads, the standard speed of 130 km / h on motorways, the 0.8 and later the 0.5 percent alcohol limit, the helmet requirement for motorcyclists and the seat belt requirement. In combination with increased vehicle safety, this continued to reduce the number of fatalities – in 2019 there were only a good 3,000. The lowest level since the start of the statistics.

This is despite the fact that many more cars are registered. In 1953, 265 people died per 100,000 registered vehicles. In 2017 there were five. Nevertheless, statistically there is still a fatality in traffic every three hours

A speed limit on motorways speaks for itself: More than a third of motorway accidents are due to the fact that at least one person involved exceeded the maximum speed or drove too fast for the road or weather conditions. And according to figures from the German Road Safety Council, in 2016, 26 percent fewer people died on motorways with a speed limit per freeway kilometer than on motorways without a speed limit.

Emil Nefzger, DER SPIEGEL Mobility
Excessive speed is the cause of death in accidents, or rather: inappropriate speed. However, one has to say that country roads are significantly more dangerous than highways without speed limit. Most fatal traffic accidents happen on country roads.

… namely 56 percent. 31 percent of all fatal accidents occur in urban areas. The remaining 13 percent on highways.

Emil Nefzger, DER SPIEGEL Mobility
Traffic is relatively well secured on motorways in Germany, a guardrail on the left, a guardrail on the right. In many cases there is also the hard shoulder that you can dodge, and you simply have no oncoming traffic. As soon as something goes wrong on country roads, there is usually no guardrail on the right, but a tree or ditch. In the worst case, an abyss. And of course you also have oncoming traffic.

By the way: Whoever gets caught in Germany with 16 to 20 km / h speed limit on the country road pays 30 euros. In Switzerland, however, almost 230 euros are due.

Emil Nefzger, DER SPIEGEL Mobility
The problem on German country roads is not that people drive 100 km / h, but that people drive 120 km / h and faster on country roads or that people drive 100 km / h in snow or rain instead of their speed adapt. Here you would simply have to start with penalties and with more controls. And like in other European countries, these penalties should be much higher. A fine must also hurt people for it to have an effect.


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