The speed limit becomes an electoral issue

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Berlin (dpa): is a perennial policy with built-in potential to provoke emotions – and has already entered 2021 Elections to the Bundestag campaign: should a general speed limit be introduced on German motorways, after all, which has been the subject of such a bitter dispute for decades? The SPD, the Greens and the Left are campaigning for a speed limit, while the CDU / CSU, the FDP and the AfD are still vehemently opposed. In the past, this traditionally confronted position has not always resulted in anything changing, literally giving drivers continued free income to drive as fast as they want. Can the main problem of climate protection lead to some unexpected movement this time?

Federal Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer has already set a clear line of defense for the election campaign: “The argument for a general speed limit is a political instrument, even for some a fetish,” he said. say the CSU politician. “Citizens can decide when to vote if they want freedom in mobility or restrictions and prohibitions.”

Those who support a speed limit, such as the German environmental aid organization Deutsche Umwelthilfe, argue that massive reductions in carbon emissions are needed, especially in transport, if climate goals for 2030 are to be met. the measure that would mean the greatest potential savings is a speed limit of 120 kilometers per hour (km / h) on motorways, 80 km / h outside cities and 30 km / h in urban areas. In addition, a speed limit would massively increase road safety by reducing the number of accidents, according to the organization.

Scheuer replied, “German highways are the safest roads in the world. We have more problems with road safety on rural roads, this is where we need to focus.” In any case, he said, the speed limits already apply to about a third of the highway network, with an average speed of 117 km / h. The 130-speed guidance recommendation system has proven successful.

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