Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The 80 kph Story

I noticed in the German news this morning....a comment by the Green Party and the Linke Party at the Bundestag....they are now pressing to have the general public speed limit on secondary roads in Germany reduced to 80 kph (presently it's 100 kph).

For some Americans.....you have to spell this out.  80 kph would represent 50 mph.  100 kph would represent 62 mph.

Once you leave a urban or city zone.....you typically will progress to 70 kph area, and then on to 100 kph.  Unless weather affects the situation (they will actually post signs if it's raining that you must retreat back down to a safer speed).

If you just look around at statistical averages.....with a country of 80 million residents....there are 33,000 folks with injuries related to car accidents.

Getting either the SPD or CDU Party running the coalition to accept some speed limit deal?  I doubt if either would accept this idea.  In some group of Germans, if you brought this idea up....very few would be pleased with the idea.

I've spent six weeks of my life in Denmark, where the set speed limit for secondary roads is 80 kph....and you have a much lessened accident rate (at least the Danes like to brag about this).  I suspect that this view of Denmark and their success plays into this Green idea.  But I tend to look at two other odd factors in Denmark's success with 80 kph.

First, they tend to build secondary roads wider.  I'd take a wild guess that a two-laner is two to three feet wider than the typical German two-laner.  Second, because of the gas tax....fuel is expensive and Danes tend to drive less.  Trying to say that the 80 kph lessened the death rate by itself in Denmark.....won't work.

This will end being some topic of conversation in Berlin for a couple of days, and then it'll just drop off the table real quick.

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