The myth of unrestricted motoring bliss on Germany’s Autobahn is just that: a myth. Most sections have posted limits, and even the sought-after “end of limit” sections are often crowded with traffic. There’s even a recommended speed limit of 130 kilometers per hour (about 81 mph) on unrestricted sections; sure, you can go as fast as you want, but expect to be charged with the equivalent of reckless driving if you have an accident. Based on recent election results in the German state of Baden-Württemburg, there’s more bad news on the horizon: motorists in this southwestern state will soon be facing an enforced speed limit of 120 kilometers per hour, or about 74 miles per hour.
The speed limit was one of the Green party’s campaign promises, so the move is all but a done deal. Contrary to U.S. legislation, which typically reduces speed limits due to safety concerns, this move is all about reducing emission of greenhouse gasses in the state. It’s particularly ironic that Baden-Württemburg’s capital is Stuttgart, home to both Mercedes-Benz and Porsche (and to yours truly as a young, impressionable exchange student). If you needed further proof that the automotive apocalypse is upon us, I’d say this counts.