Alliance calls for action: speed limit – for climate protection and security

Status: 07/13/2021 2:18 p.m.

Speed ​​limits on motorways, 30 km / h in cities, 80 km / h outside of town – this is what an alliance of environmental and transport associations and the North Rhine-Westphalia Police Union calls for. These limits would help the climate, among other things.

From Kai Clement,
ARD capital studio

Germany as exotic. As the only industrialized country without a general speed limit on motorways. “The last high-speed country in the world,” says Jürgen Resch from Deutsche Umwelthilfe. He speaks for an alliance of environmental and transport associations and the North Rhine-Westphalia Police Union.

Kai Clement
ARD capital studio

Another appeal to politicians

They joined forces two years ago to introduce a mandatory maximum speed on German autobahns as well. Now, before the federal election, they turn to politics again in a video link.

We as Deutsche Umwelthilfe are calling for a new federal government to introduce a speed limit of 120 on motorways, 80 on extra-urban roads and 30 in cities as part of its 100-day program, right from the start. ”

Take the Netherlands as an example

In addition, the example of the Netherlands should set an example: They reduce the maximum speed on motorways during the day to 100 kilometers per hour. The police union NRW, however, sets Tempo 130. It is crucial that there is a speed limit at all, says Michael Mertens from the NRW Police Union and shows a photo of completely destroyed vehicles wedged together. All facts are known, all statistics and arguments. Now is the time to act to save lives.

“With a speed limit, three effects are mutually reinforcing. First, the average speed drops, the flow of traffic becomes more even and – this is the most important thing – the speed differences become smaller,” says Mertens.

More road safety, fewer deaths

All in all, it increases road safety and reduces the number of traffic casualties, according to Mertens – on the autobahns by an estimated 20 percent. For police and rescue workers and everyone else who work there, higher speeds are life-threatening.

Main argument climate protection

Climate protection is the other main argument. Example: The Federal Environment Agency has calculated that at a speed of 120 km / h, 2.9 million tons of CO2 would be saved per year. A regular speed of 30 in cities and 80 kilometers per hour outside of the city offer further savings potential, according to Resch from Umwelthilfe.

“There is no other measure in the transport sector that has such a saving effect in the short term and ultimately free of charge,” says Resch.

Union, FDP and AfD against speed limit

However, only the Greens, the SPD and the Left have enshrined corresponding goals in their election programs. Union, FDP and AfD are still against the speed limit. Transport Minister Scheuer (CSU) recently even spoke of a fetish and of ban debates. In addition, with more automation and more electric cars, the average speed will decrease anyway.

The German autobahns are the safest in the world. This is also how FDP General Secretary Volker Wissing sees it: “We have no safety problem on our autobahns. Incidentally, we already have speed limits where there are risks, but no general ones. And we have other problems in Germany than this addiction, To forbid things that don’t need to be forbidden. ”

In order to introduce a speed limit, in addition to the political debate in the election campaign, the alliance is therefore also relying on courts – for example, Umwelthilfe sued the federal government to ensure that it adheres to the climate targets in the transport sector.

Pressure in the election campaign: Alliance calls for speed limits on motorways

Kai Clement, ARD Berlin, 13.7.2021 · 13:23

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