Deaths Force Germans to Rethink Passion for Speed
BERLIN – Last month a court convicted Rolf Fischer, a 34-year-old test driver, of negligent manslaughter in the July 2003 deaths in a car accident caused by his speeding and sentenced him to 18 months in prison.
Germany’s world-famous right to speed was not on trial, but its opponents have seized on the verdict to renew long-standing demands for controls.
Politicians in the ruling Social Democrat-Green coalition have declared the time has come for limits, arguing that it’s common sense that slowing down would save lives.
But in this otherwise heavily regulated society, many Germans view the right to drive fast as a last frontier of freedom.
The German Automobile Club argued that statistics show no correlation between safety and speed limits. What is needed is a crackdown on practices such as following too closely, said Markus Schaepe, a legal specialist on transportation.
Germany’s Transport Ministry, which oversees the 7,500-mile-long autobahn system, said a better response would be to redesign stretches of road where accidents routinely occur.
It’s a myth that German highways have no speed limits. On about a third of the autobahn, limits are posted. On the rest, authorities recommend that drivers keep to 130 kilometers (about 81 miles) per hour, but drivers are legally free to ignore that and generally do.
You may be interested
With Keylor Navas battling injuries, Real Madrid eyes January swoop for Bilbao goalieAFP - December 11, 2017
Real Madrid's first foray into the January transfer market will be to snap up Athletic Bilbao's promising goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga,…
Our High Season Print Edition is here! Here’s where to find itKatherine Stanley - December 11, 2017
In the weeks since the relaunch of The Tico Times on Sept. 1, we’ve been hard at work to reconnect…
Bright Lights Boat Parade inaugurates holiday season in QueposElizabeth Lang - December 11, 2017
The Bright Lights Boat Parade marked the official kickoff of the holiday season in the Central Pacific town of Quepos…