Drive 55 Comes to Germany

45
1993
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German drivers may soon be “standing with Ukraine” – by moving less fast. It appears the Autobahn is about to get a speed limit, touted by those who advocate it as a way to “save energy” now that there is less of it, courtesy of the German government’s decision to punish Germans in order to punish the Russians. 

But it’s just another excuse to punish Germans, who had one thing over Americans for many years: Unrestricted speed sections of the  German Interstate Highway System – the Autobahn, the one good thing Hitler created besides the VW.

The Autobahn was the model for the U.S. Interstate Highway System.

And what comes around, goes around. 

The American Interstate system, designed to emulate Germany’s – was laid out with average travel speeds of 70-75 MPH in mind. This was in the 1950s. In the early ‘70s, the federal government decided to limit the maximum allowable speed to an excruciatingly slow-for-these-roads 55 MPH.

And cars. Which – by the ‘80s and ‘90s – were much more controllable at 70-75 than the cars of the ‘50s. Yet people were still expected to Drive 55 – and subject to punishment if they drove any faster than people were allowed to drive the cars of the ‘50s and ‘60s prior to the early ’70s. 

At first, the speed-throttling was imposed as a “fuel saving” measure, to deal with the fuel scarcity and escalating costs of fuel triggered by the actions of the American government, to punish oil-exporting Arab states (OPEC) by punishing Americans.

But at least they were not told they were “standing” with anyone.

They were, however, told another thing. That driving faster than 55 was “unsafe.” Curiously, it had been legal for the prior 20-something years. Now it was just-like-that illegal “speeding” – and if you got caught doing it, you were branded an “unsafe” driver and made to hand over money, both to the government and the insurance mafia, used by the government to force you to pay as much as they said via compulsory insurance laws.

The 55 MPH speed limit was eventually rescinded but all that was restored was the status quo ante. We are now allowed to drive the cars of the 2020s as fast the cars of the ‘50s, ‘60s and early ‘70s could be driven.

Huzzah progress. 

Also, none of the millions who received what are styled “tickets” and “premium adjustments” for “speeding” during the 20-year period that Drive 55 was in force ever got a refund or even an apology.

It looks like the Germans are about to get a dose of the same. “Safety” hasn’t been warbled about yet – perhaps because Germany’s high-speed Autobahns are very safe. The overall accident rate is lower than that of the American Interstate System, probably because Germans are schooled and skilled to handle high-speed driving to a degree most Americans aren’t. And – being schooled and skilled to safely handle unrestricted speed driving, German drivers are almost axiomatically more skilled and safer drivers everywhere they drive.

So “safety” may not sell.

But something else will. Something more durable than “standing with Ukraine,” which is already becoming tiresome in Germany as well as America. And so this:

“We must also promote climate protection through a speed limit,” warbles Lower Saxony Environmental Minister Olaf Lies – who does.

Olaf  is one of those bureaucrats who use assertions about imminent (but never-arriving) catastrophic, human-caused “climate change” to justify and gaslight the populace into postmodern serfdom. Less energy, less mobility. Less everything.

He is much the same species as the gesundheitsfuhrers – i.e., the “health bureaucrats” who used assertions about a “virus” that they said was a catastrophic threat to us all – to control (and enserf) us all.

Two arms of the same pincer, really.

Throttling the Autobahn – that is, throttling German drivers – to a maximum speed limit of 130 kilometers per hour (80 MPH, US) is a “quick, effective measure to save many millions of liters of fuel and tons of C02 a year,” saith Anja Siegesmund, who is Thuringia’s Environment Minister and also a Green.

Which is to say, a red.

No one ever asks these reds – demands to know – why it ought not to be the decision of those who buy fuel whether to use it – and how much. Nor how many “millions of liters” could be “saved” by not having the government waste it by the millions of liters – in the mighty engines of war whose consumption is never restricted. How many “millions of liters” might be “saved” by not “standing with Ukraine”? How about all those well-heated government buildings?

Never mind.

And never mind trying to get them to prove that a .0-something increase in the volume of carbon dioxide added to the 0.04 percent of carbon dioxide that composes the total-fractional quantity of C02 in the air is causing or will cause any harm to anyone. Just believe. Just obey.

It is like the “virus” that didn’t kill 99 percent of the population – only more egregiously over-stated because it’s not even a whole number.

Or half of one.

Never mind.

The point, as always, is the excuse – which may not be questioned, else you are a “denier.” Or a “speeder.”

But could there be anything more absurd than restricting the speed of cars designed to operate easily and comfortably at 100-plus MPH on roads also designed for the same? Well, only if you don’t understand that the point of the thing is to punish people for driving. To progressively – just the right word – make it so stymieing, so aggravating and so enervating that drivers increasingly won’t want to.

The measure is supposed to be “temporary.” Just like Drive 55 – which took 20 years to get rid of.

Sammy better tune up his stratocaster.

. . .

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45 COMMENTS

  1. Interesting thing about the German Autobahn…yes, they were sort of their equivalent of an American WPA project (indeed, Hitler and the Nazi Party actually took some of their ideas from Hoover’s National Recovery Act and FDR’s various schemes), and that used up quite a bit of idle German laborers, but there was ANOTHER purpose: movement of the Germany ARMY, across the Reich, as there were the “Allies” to the West, and Russia to the East (and Poland too, and the Poles weren’t to be discounted ca. 1936 vs. Germany, either!), so rapid movement of mechanized forces was a military necessity. Indeed, the US Army had attempted quite a few maneuvers across the US on its then US-highway system, with a demonstrable lack of success. By the time war broke out in September of 1939, only about 15% of the intended system was ready, but there was at least one autobahn route that went across the Reich.

    The real limiting factor, though, for the Wehrmacht wasn’t so much lack of roads, it was lack of Trucks, and GASOLINE. Indeed, petroleum shortages were what hampered the German war effort all throughout the war, dictated much of its strategy (especially the drive down to the Caucasus oil field in 1942, which might have succeeded, but Hitler just had to have Stalingrad as well, and we all know how badly that ended up for the Heer), and led ultimately to its collapse in April of 1945.

    However, the Autobahn WAS used for the rapid movement of the Army in 1945…General George S. Patton’s Third US Army!

  2. The nonsensical fuel “savings” with lower speeds has been debunked how many times now?

    But yet again its trotted out yet again……

  3. wow – didnt see this. Hope the German people resist. It is well known how disciplined Germans are on the road – because they are taught to take responsibility for their driving and not just sheepishly follow “rules”. As an example, in the UK its common to get an asswipe driving below the speed limit in the fast lane. And if you overtake him at times THEY get angry (as if we all should come down to the lowest common denominator and drive his speed!)

    In Germany even if you’re driving over 200, you DONT drive in the inner lane because its ONLY for overtaking, and you may just come across someone going faster !!

    • Hi Nasir,

      You’re right; German drivers are good drivers because they are expected to be. There are consequences when you squat in the left lane at 100 kph in the path of a Porsche doing 180 kph. People understand lane discipline; they use their mirrors. Most of all, they take pride in being competent. In the US (and UK) some people – all too many people – take pride in signaling virtue, as by following the rules and taking great umbrage when others do not.

      • When driving on a two-lane highways (USA), and when I see the passing lane coming, I automatically go to the far right lane, and pass on the right, as the slow car in front of me will usually take the entire passing lane to move over from the left lane into that right lane, if at all. #Sigh

        • richb, there’s plenty of blame to go around. When the speed limit is 75 and so many people won’t drive that speed, trouble comes a lookin. I recall in my youth(yout) back in the 50’s it had already been determined that driving the same speed as everyone else was by far the safest. Every decade or so they’d come up with the same thing.

          3-4 years ago an occifer stopped me for a DOT check(tickets galore regardless of where you were doing anything wrong. It was simply a gold mine for the state. One day this occifer I didn’t particularly care for, well, didn’t car for at all, stopped me and while he was whizzing those digital fines in the computer he made the comment that accidents had increased and wondered why as if I was to come up with the answer. This was when the patch was booming and we were parked looking right at I-20. I just nodded my head to the unholy amount of traffic and asked him if he thought two lanes going both direction jam packed might have anything to do with it. He didn’t say anything. Then I said ” What happened to all those extra lanes that were promised decades ago?” He just shook his head. I hadn’t be unkind and he knew the answer. He finally peeled off a strip of infractions 4 feet long and handed it to me.

  4. Saving fuel became safety because someone done a study that showed a correlation between fatalities and speed limit impositions. I’m speculating of course, and too lazy to look around on the archives this morning, but given the behavor of Uncle’s minions WRT regulatory camels’ noses, I think it is a “safe” assumption.

    Of course there’s no correcting for boomers (majority of drivers at the time) getting better at operating vehicles becuase they were no longer teenagers, no correcting for smaller vehicles and drivetrains that didn’t have the V8 low-end torque, and for sure no correction for front vs rear-wheel drive in snow.

    Nope. Speed. Because we can measure speed without all the noise. Speed is an absolute metric, either you’re over the PSL or you’re not.

    • You’ve raised some good points: It’s harder to get yourself in trouble in cars like a 1980 Dodge Omni vs. a 1970 Dodge Challenger or Monaco, especially in the rain and snow. It’s even harder with a 2020 Dodge Challenger.

  5. What is going to happen? Who in God’s name knows?

    What will happen is a series of speed traps using cameras to catch speeders, it’ll take a photo of the license plate, one of you, then you’ll receive a bill in the mail to pay the 299 euro fine.
    One of those revenue enhancers at work. A shearing operation. Nice to know in advance how the plan will be implemented.

    The Special Operation conducted by Mad Vlad is hardly an invasion. Ukraine belongs to the Russkies, read it and weep. You know what they say in the Russian Army? Tough-sky shit-sky, all your land to us belong. We know where the Upsidasium is at. har

    The real invaders are supposedly from Sweden and Britain and God knows where, those freaking Nazis there in Ukraine are going to raise some hell.

    Any truth to that rumor? It is going to be a lie. The photos of Nazis in Ukraine with Ukraine flags and Swastikas in the photo is a red flag or a false flag or something.

    You’d think peace would be the favorable alternative. Mutual seppuku is what is happening.

    Joe Biden is Chauncey Gardener. Insouciance reigns. Change my mind.

    • Years ago, I believe in the UK, a driver received a speeding ticket in the mail. The automated cameras “sensed” that the driver arrived to a camera sooner than they should have, based on the speed limit of the road. That is, the camera “assumed” the driver was speeding, because they passed the next camera too quickly from the last one.

    • ‘Change my mind.’ — drumphish

      The Lügenpresse has got ya covered:

      Mariupol fighters in Russian hands; both sides claim wins — AP ‘News’

      The Narrative must go on!

    • Hi Levi,

      I think the key to unravelling all of this – these regulations- is to demand to know why the federal government ought to have any power to impose such regulations at all, especially as regards “safety.” Because this is none of the government’s business. Because it isn’t anyone else’s business. Government is, after all, just other people. What gives these other people the right to tell you or I that we may not drive something new that is similar to something like an old VW Beetle? Or for that matter, a not-so-old (say model year 2000 or so) Mercedes S-Class? Neither is “safe” according to the latest “safety” regulations. It does not mea they re dangerous cars. Neither are prone to crash. The Benz is in fact a very safe place to be in the event of a crash. The accusation of “unsafe” only means they do not comply with the latest regs, that is all. https://www.ericpetersautos.com/2022/05/17/on-regulations/

      • Eric, it’s just to keep the corp-gov ponzi scheme going. ‘they’ can’t allow an ‘old, proven’ vehicle be made anymore.

      • “Government is, after all, just other people”
        I would question whether they are people, or demons, or some lower form of life.

      • By my reading of our Constitution, nowhere does it permit Congress to delegate its lawmaking authority to agencies of their own creation. Yet by my last reckoning, there are hundreds and hundreds of these “alphabet soup” agencies, each capable of fining and imprisoning those who violate their “rules”. I’m wondering how this end-run around the Constitution first happened, and how it snowballed into Leviathan: where citizens are allowed to do ONLY what the bureaucrats permit. Which is the opposite of what the Constitution stipulates: that we the people can do whatever we want, safe in our persons and property, EXCEPT for what’s explicitly forbidden by legislation passed by elected representatives or by writ (via due process) in a court of law.

      • We can thank the late Richard Milhous Nixon and his “Fatwa” to limit US Interstate speeds to 55 back in ’74. Nixon’s E.O.s also bound the states to enforce 55 mph on their state highways, else they’d lose Federal funding, this form of control not originating with Nixon (dated back to Ike), but “Tricky Dick” used it a LOT more, especially to put the screws to Democrat rivals. There was a saying about Nixon by longtime Ohio Senator Robert Taft…”Dick Nixon is a son of a bitch…but he’s OUR son of a bitch!”

        I suppose Sammy Hagar was also appreciate of Nixon’s 55 mph edict, it gave him the material for the work he’s best known for, although I like “Three Lock Box” better.

  6. “ The overall accident rate is lower than that of the American Interstate System, probably because Germans are schooled and skilled to handle high-speed driving to a degree most Americans aren’t.”

    You have to do more than fog a mirror to get a German drivers license! Hours of instruction, testing and thousands in costs. I drove there for several weeks when visiting daughter #1 and family, they were there about 5 years total. Autobahn is great although some areas are in need of a good resurfacing. Many areas already have restricted speeds. Very good experience sharing the road with people that know how to drive.

    Thoughts on strict standards for licensing? Where or how to balance liberty vs keeping chuckleheads off the road – humm.

    • “Strict” standards will not keep lousy drivers off the road. We have strict “standards” for medical doctors, but yet there are plenty of crappy ones out there.

      It will likely happen at some point, but done to increase the costs of driving (and generate revenue) in yet another way.

  7. The idea that humans can make a difference re:”climate change” is pure hubris. Plants need CO2 to synthesize oxygen which everyone else needs to survive. Of course if the chickenhawk warmongers push Putin hard enough we may get some serious climate change when a bunch of nukes go off. Screw these control freaks, every last one.

  8. Haha! – I think Sammy Hagar can’t drive 55 because he couldn’t get his car out of second gear. But he’s probably too hammered on his tequila to care about that or the scam of “man-made global warming” or “climate change” or whatever it’s called today. Cabo Wabo!

    • I had been impressed with Sammy Hagar somewhat early on in the renamed flu scam. I just Startpaged him today about these things and noticed he went back on nearly everything he said and whored himself for masks and vaxxes. F Sammy Hagar.

  9. Gee, if the climate zealots were really that serious, they’d have gone after the autobahn years ago.

    I’ve got 3 years of autobahn driving experience under my belt. We could have the same no-speed-limit on at least some of the interstate highways here, but it would require some major changes. One is that they would need to eliminate all left exits. Two is that they would have to enforce driving like the Germans – no passing in the right lane and ONLY use the left lane to pass. They even go so far as to allow you to pass on the left, a left-turning vehicle on a two-lane road (I thought that was really f’ed up, but I don’t make the rules) – for the unaware or those who don’t check their rearview mirrors, that would be a painful mistake.

    If they’re serious about introducing a speed limit, they really would need to implement it in phases. I’ve seen it firsthand, being passed by Porsche’s or BMW’s going 200mph – some people will never obey it if you go cold-turkey.

    • There I was. Early 1983. Autobahn 3, near Wuerzburg. Rented 1983 Opel Rekord 1.9L, humming along flat-out north of 160 klicks (in the right lane, of course). Enjoying the excellent German car handling and fast motoring. A klick or thereabouts ahead in my lane is a Citroen 2CV, from the closing rate, doing less than 80 klicks. I check my six, nothing visible as far as I could see. So, I start the passing maneuver. By the time I get up to the coffee grinder in about a minute, I feel infrared blasting the back of my neck. A black Porsche with a whale tail is closing FAST on me, flashing his brights and driving lights. I squeeze that last bit of juice out of the Opel, and blast sideways in front of the 2CV right as the Porsche slices the air by my driver’s door. In a minute, he was gone, completely. Had to be doing 220 klicks.

      Moral of the story? The German federal government thinks they’re going to befehl drivers like that Porsche guy into 88 klicks on the Autobahn? They are idiots, because in my time in the FRG, the ONLY thing that gets a German truly riled up (other than US beer) is driving slow on the Autobahn!

  10. The globalist/communist/satanist agenda 2030, part of their marxist agenda is control of transportation.

    Restricting mobility, another part of the globalist/satanist control agenda, that is behind the push to EV’s, limiting range, total control over energy source, controlling use.

    Controlling transportation is the 6th plank of the communist manifesto

    6. Centralization of the means of communication and transportation in the hands of the state.
    In the U.S., communication and transportation are controlled and regulated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) established by the Communications Act of 1934 and the Department of Transportation and the Interstate Commerce Commission (established by Congress in 1887), and the Federal Aviation Administration as well as Executive orders 11490, 10999 — not to mention various state bureaucracies and regulations. There is also the federal postal monopoly, AMTRAK and CONRAIL — outright socialist (government-owned) enterprises. Instead of free-market private enteprrise in these important industries, these fields in America are semi-cartelized through the government’s regulatory-industiral complex.

    The Ten Planks of the
    Communist Manifesto
    1848 by Karl Heinrich Marx

    Although Marx advocated the use of any means, especially including violent revolution, to bring about socialist dictatorship, he suggested ten political goals for developed countries such as the United States. How far has the United States — traditionally the bastion of freedom, free markets, and private property — gone down the Marxist road to fulfill these socialist aims? You be the judge. The following are Marx’s ten planks from his Communist Manifesto.

    1. Abolition of private property in land and application of all rents of land to public purpose.
    The courts have interpreted the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution (1868) to give the government far more “eminent domain” power than was originally intended, Under the rubric of “eminent domain” and various zoning regulations, land use regulations by the Bureau of Land Managementproperty taxes, and “environmental” excuses, private property rights have become very diluted and private property in landis, vehicles, and other forms are seized almost every day in this country under the “forfeiture” provisions of the RICO statutes and the so-called War on Drugs..

    2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.
    The 16th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, 1913 (which some scholars maintain was never properly ratified), and various State income taxes, established this major Marxist coup in the United States many decades ago. These taxes continue to drain the lifeblood out of the American economy and greatly reduce the accumulation of desperately needed capital for future growth, business starts, job creation, and salary increases.

    3. Abolition of all rights of inheritance.
    Another Marxian attack on private property rights is in the form of Federal & State estate taxes and other inheritance taxes, which have abolished or at least greatly diluted the right of private property owners to determine the disposition and distribution of their estates upon their death. Instead, government bureaucrats get their greedy hands involved .

    4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.
    We call it government seizures, tax liens, “forfeiture” Public “law” 99-570 (1986); Executive order 11490, sections 1205, 2002 which gives private land to the Department of Urban Development; the imprisonment of “terrorists” and those who speak out or write against the “government” (1997 Crime/Terrorist Bill); or the IRS confiscation of property without due process.

    5. Centralization of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a national bank with state capital and an exclusive monopoly.
    The Federal Reserve System, created by the Federal Reserve Act of Congress in 1913, is indeed such a “national bank” and it politically manipulates interest rates and holds a monopoly on legal counterfeiting in the United States. This is exactly what Marx had in mind and completely fulfills this plank, another major socialist objective. Yet, most Americans naively believe the U.S. of A. is far from a Marxist or socialist nation.

    6. Centralization of the means of communication and transportation in the hands of the state.
    In the U.S., communication and transportation are controlled and regulated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) established by the Communications Act of 1934 and the Department of Transportation and the Interstate Commerce Commission (established by Congress in 1887), and the Federal Aviation Administration as well as Executive orders 11490, 10999 — not to mention various state bureaucracies and regulations. There is also the federal postal monopoly, AMTRAK and CONRAIL — outright socialist (government-owned) enterprises. Instead of free-market private enteprrise in these important industries, these fields in America are semi-cartelized through the government’s regulatory-industiral complex.

    7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the state; the bringing into cultivation of waste lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.
    While the U.S. does not have vast “collective farms” (which failed so miserably in the Soviet Union), we nevertheless do have a significant degree of government involvement in agriculture in the form of price support subsidies and acreage alotments and land-use controls. The Desert Entry Act and The Department of Agriculture. As well as the Department of Commerce and Labor, Department of Interior, the Evironmental Protection Agency, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, Bureau of Mines, National Park Service, and the IRS control of business through corporate regulations.

    8. Equal obligation of all to work. Establishment of Industrial armies, especially for agriculture.
    We call it the Social Security Administration and The Department of Labor. The National debt and inflation caused by the communal bank has caused the need for a two “income” family. Woman in the workplace since the 1920’s, the 19th amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, assorted Socialist Unions, affirmative action, the Federal Public Works Program and of course Executive order 11000. And I almost forgot…The Equal Rights Amendment means that women should do all work that men do including the military and since passage it would make women subject to the draft.

    9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country by a more equable distribution of the population over the country.
    We call it the Planning Reorganization Act of 1949 , zoning (Title 17 1910-1990) and Super Corporate Farms, as well as Executive orders 11647, 11731 (ten regions) and Public “law” 89-136.

    10. Free education for all children in government schools. Abolition of children’s factory labor in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production, etc. etc.
    People are being taxed to support what we call ‘public’ schools, which train the young to work for the communal debt system. We also call it the Department of Education, the NEA and Outcome Based “Education” .

    https://www.laissez-fairerepublic.com/TenPlanks.html

  11. “We must also promote climate protection through a speed limit.” — Olaf Lies

    That may be the long-term justification. But this year, as an occupied NATO satrapy, Germany is facing an intractable hydrocarbon energy crunch for which it’s poorly positioned.

    Ergo, as always in ‘wartime,’ various symbolic forms of rationing must be imposed upon the Lumpenproletariat: lower speed in cars, less heat in winter, a reduction in recreation.

    Percentage-wise, such measures barely make a dent. But in terms of mass psychology — convincing a fearful populace to hunker down, comply, and obey orders from leaders — it’s Wunderbar!

    How did that ‘obey’ impulse work out for Germans in the 1930s?

    Do they really they’re gonna ‘win’ this time?

  12. I had a Uniden radar detector back in the day and a Bearcat scanner in my center console with a warning feature for the line of sight VHF repeaters carried in the trunks of cop cars. If one didn’t clue me off to the presence of a HUT-HUT-HUT, the other always did. The only ticket I got with that setup was a laser-wielding cop from an overpass in College Park, Georgia (big speed trap on I-85).

    Since I drive now about 10 over usually (I’m older and don’t feel comfortable going faster), I’ve eschewed such as setup, relying on the Mark I eyeball to spot HUT-HUT-HUT enforcers.

    It’s always for our “own good,” our masters say. When I hear the term “climate change,” I want to laugh. It’s not static and I strongly doubt the man’s impact has much to do with it at all. I’d always dreamed of shipping my Supra to Germany to run flat-out and now that dream is shattered.

  13. “Stand” with Ukraine, give up your freedom of movement.

    Sounds about right.

    I’ll keep on rolling, thanks.

    I don’t give a crap about the Ukraine, and I’m pretty sure it would not be in my long term best interest to “stand” with it.

    • I can’t “stand” with Ukraine. I’m too busy kneeling to our own Psychopaths In Charge.
      The very notion that a climate that has always been changing can be stopped from changing, by any means, is absurd. Never the less, the “experts” and “officials” speak as if it were a foregone conclusion that it can be. Much like the “vaccines are safe and effective”.

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