Motorway Speed Limit

Looming Closer In Germany


Clipboard01PHOTO: POLIZEI.THUERINGEN.DE15 DEC - Speed limit may be finally coming to German motorways from an unexpected direction.

For ages road safety stakeholders have fought for a national uniform motorway speed limit implementation to no avail.


Now it seems the speed limit may be enforced on climatic grounds. A ruling by the Berlin-Brandenburg Higher Administrative Court based on a lawsuit brought by Deutsche Umwelthilfe and the environmental association BUND imposed on the federal government to adopt immediate measures for more climate protection in transport and buildings among which – a speed limit on motorways. The government is appealing the ruling, but it seems the countdown is now ticking.


“The court ruling paved the way for a future speed limit on German motorways”, said Jürgen Resch, managing director of Deutsche Umwelthilfe, to Т-online. According to current calculations, this could save at least eleven million tons of CO₂ per year. “No other measure alone brings a similar result by costing 0 euros for the taxpayers”. He is convinced that the introduction of a speed limit is unstoppable. The court ruling on climate policy is “a very clear request to stop avoiding and postponing measures,” Resch told the German Press Agency. “I don’t know whether politicians are brave enough to introduce the speed limit next year. Or whether we have to wait for a final ruling from the Federal Administrative Court. Then it will be 2025 or 2026.”, said Resch.


The ruling "Traffic light" coalition is not unanimous on the limit. While FDP is firmly against the speed limit, the Alliance 90/The Greens are strong proponents. A recent survey shows that 57% Germans would like to see a speed limit on the motorway. The NewClimate Institute criticized the fact that Germany is not implementing even simple measures such as a general speed limit. The institute regularly publishes the “Climate Action Tracker” analysis tool, which evaluates the climate policies of more than 40 countries – Germany’s performance in the area of climate protection is classified as “inadequate”. In order to achieve the climate goals for the years 2024 to 2030 measures such as the abolition of subsidies for diesel and company cars could also be considered.