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"Common sense speaks for it" | TIME ONLINE



A renewed argument about a speed limit on German motorways is emerging in the grand coalition. Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze (SPD) has spoken out in favor of the speed limit. It reduces fatal accidents and saves one to two million tons of CO2 every year, Schulze said. "In this respect, common sense speaks for the introduction of a general speed limit that has long been available in almost all EU countries."

The new SPD leader Saskia Esken had announced this week that she wanted to speak to the Union again about speed limits on highways. The SPD wants a general speed limit of 130 kilometers per hour. Federal Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer (CSU) rejects this. "We have far more outstanding tasks than putting this highly emotional issue over and over again in the shop window – for which there are no majorities at all," he said.

Scheuer had pointed out that the Bundestag had only recently generalized speed limit have refused. In October, a push by the Greens for 130 km / h failed in parliament. Most SPD MPs had also voted against, but this is common in coalitions for opposition proposals. Back then, SPD politicians had made it clear that the topic should be on the agenda again in the new year.

Police union requests expert opinion

The police union called for an independent opinion in the debate. "The federal government should commission a scientific opinion to get valid numbers on the benefits of a speed limit," said vice-chairman Michael Mertens Handelsblatt, "With such a basis, the discussion can certainly be brought to an objective level."

The union is in favor of a speed limit as this could reduce the number of serious accidents. Estimates assume that around 80 deaths a year nationwide could be avoided, said Mertens. Consumer advocates are also in favor of a speed limit.

"Ridiculous spectacle"

Left and Greens criticize the SPD. Jan Korte, the left's parliamentary director, said: "The now ridiculous spectacle of a speed limit should be ended." He therefore proposed a joint proposal to the SPD with all political groups who supported a speed limit of 130. However, such an application would not have a majority in the Bundestag,

Green politician Cem Özdemir said on Friday of the Rheinische Post: "The SPD would have had the opportunity to approve our corresponding proposal in the Bundestag." Now to raise the subject, knowing that the Union will not participate, is purely symbolic.

On German motorways only a guideline of 130 kilometers per hour applies, in contrast to other European countries there is no general speed limit so far. Free travel applies to 70 percent of the German motorway network. 20.8 percent of the street kilometers are restricted, with speeds of 120 and 100 being the most common. There are also variable traffic control displays. This is shown by current data from the Federal Highway Research Institute.

. (tagsToTranslate) Politics (t) Speed ​​Limit (t) SPD (t) Speed ​​Limit (t) Bundestag (t) Andreas Scheuer (t) Saskia Esken (t) CSU (t) Svenja Schulze (t) Autobahn (t) CO2


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