Steane Klose | Apr 14, 2008

Is the sun setting on the unrestricted high-speed highways of the world? Politicians, smelling a quick buck that they could wrap in a pretty ‘road safety’ bow, imposed speed limits on Australia’s famous unrestricted roads in the Northern Territory last year – the end of an era, and a dubious decision at best.

The idea of fast efficient motoring is a jagged pill to swallow for ‘those-who-know-best’ and the German Green party and Social Democrats in Bremen are no exception. Both parties have recently conspired to impose a speed limit of 120km/h on Bremen’s Autobahns and while the Autobahns in Bremen only total about 60kms of roadway, this is another ‘nail in the coffin’ of open speed limits.

The enthusiasts amongst us will know that lower speed limits don’t necessarily equate to lower road tolls and as such see little reason for decisions like these to be made. Of course, there are always the spurious political agendas and who knows what opportunities will present themselves for raising some extra revenue. Someone has to police the limits – right?

In recent times, global warming has been cited as reason enough for speed limits to be imposed on the Autobahns. The faster you drive the more CO2 your car produces - right? However, forgive me if I remain somewhat dubious about the environment saving potential of speed limited Autobahns.

In the meantime, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has ruled out a national speed limit policy for Germany’s Autobahns.

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