Environment and Climate

IAA dialogue

Questions and answers about the mobility debate

Do we need a general speed limit?

What are the effects of general speed limits of 120 km/h on highways, 80 km/h in the country and 30 km/h in urban areas? In our view, this discussion does not have the significance that many people assume. Studies have revealed that such rigid limits would have only a minimal effect on CO2 reductions. This equally applies to road safety. These limits thus simply represent political symbols and not effective climate protection.

In some cases speed limits can even be counterproductive. Cars consume the least fuel at a speed of around 50 to 70 km/h. An overall limit of 30 km/h in built-up areas would lead to greater consumption and more emissions. It has been proven that lower pollutant emissions, on the other hand, can be achieved by traffic flow. This is achieved, for example, by smart traffic signals or by apps that advise drivers of free parking spaces.

In addition, a general speed limit would mean that inner-urban thoroughfares would no longer be quicker than 30-km/h zones, with the result that there would be a large increase in the traffic passing through residential areas, to the detriment of residents, the environment and traffic safety. Many sections of highway already have a flexible speed limit dependent on traffic flow and weather conditions. This approach has proven itself and has been accepted by car drivers.

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