with route markers for
Bundesautobahnen 1, 3 & 5
A map of the German Bundesautobahnen network
Maintained by Bundesministerium für Verkehr und digitale
12,996 km (2016) (8,075 mi)
(BAB X or A X)
Autobahns 3 and 5 at
Frankfurter Kreuz near
Frankfurt am Main
[ˈʔaʊtoˌba:n] ( listen), plural Autobahnen) is the
federal controlled-access highway system in Germany. The official
German term is Bundesautobahn (plural Bundesautobahnen, abbreviated
BAB), which translates as "federal motorway". The literal meaning of
the word Bundesautobahn is "Federal Auto(mobile) Track".
German autobahns have no federally mandated speed limit for some
classes of vehicles. However, limits are posted (and enforced) in
areas that are urbanized, substandard, accident-prone, or under
construction. On speed-unrestricted stretches, an advisory speed limit
(Richtgeschwindigkeit) of 130 kilometres per hour (81 mph)
applies. While going faster is not illegal as such in the absence of a
speed limit, it can cause an increased liability in the case of an
accident; courts have ruled that an "ideal driver" who is exempt from
absolute liability for "inevitable" tort under the law would not
A 2008 estimate reported that 52% of the autobahn network had only the
advisory speed limit, 15% had temporary speed limits due to weather or
traffic conditions, and 33% had permanent speed limits.
Measurements from the German State of
Brandenburg in 2006 showed
average speeds of 142 km/h (88 mph) on a 6-lane section of
autobahn in free-flowing conditions.
Germany's autobahn network has a total length of about 12,996
kilometres (8,075 mi) in 2016, which ranks it among the most
dense and longest controlled-access systems in the world. Longer
similar systems can be found in the United States (77,017 kilometres
(47,856 mi)) and in China (123,000 kilometres
(76,000 mi)). However both the U.S. and China
have an area nearly 30 times bigger than Germany, which demonstrates
the high density of Germany's highway system.
3.1 German-built Reichsautobahnen in other countries
4 Current density
5.1 Emergency telephones
5.2 Parking, rest areas and truck stops
6 Speed limits
6.1 Public debate
6.1.1 Early history
6.1.2 After the World Wars
6.1.3 Oil crisis of the 1970s
6.1.4 Environmental concerns of the 1980s
6.1.5 German reunification
6.1.6 Since reunification
7.1 Safety: international comparison
8 Travel speeds
9 Toll roads
10 Traffic laws and enforcement
11 In popular culture
11.1 Film and television
11.3 Video games
12 See also
14 Further reading
15 External links
Only federally built controlled-access highways with certain
construction standards including at least two lanes per direction are
called Bundesautobahn. They have their own, white-on-blue signs and
numbering system. In the 1930s, when construction began on the system,
the official name was Reichsautobahn. Various other controlled-access
highways exist on the federal (Bundesstraße), state (Landesstraße),
district, and municipal level but are not part of the
and are officially referred to as Kraftfahrstraße (with rare
exceptions, like A 995 Munich-Giesing–Brunntal). These highways are
considered autobahnähnlich (autobahn-like) and are sometimes
colloquially called Gelbe
Autobahn (yellow autobahn) because most of
them are Bundesstraßen (federal highways) with yellow signs. Some
controlled-access highways are classified as "Bundesautobahn" in spite
of not meeting the autobahn construction standard (for example the A
62 near Pirmasens).
Pattern of autobahns 10 to 999
Similar to high-speed motorways in other countries, autobahns have
multiple lanes of traffic in each direction, separated by a central
barrier with grade-separated junctions and access restricted to motor
vehicles with a top speed of more than 60 km/h (37 mph).
Nearly all exits are to the right. The earliest motorways were flanked
by shoulders about 60 centimetres (24 in) in width, constructed
of varying materials; right-hand shoulders on many autobahns were
later retrofitted to 120 centimetres (47 in) in width when it was
realized cars needed the additional space to pull off the autobahn
safely. In the postwar years, a thicker asphaltic concrete
cross-section with full paved hard shoulders came into general use.
The top design speed was approximately 160 km/h (99 mph) in
flat country but lower design speeds were used in hilly or mountainous
terrain. A flat-country autobahn that was constructed to meet
standards during the Nazi period, could support the speed of up to
150 km/h (93 mph) on curves.
The current autobahn numbering system in use in
Germany was introduced
in 1974. All autobahns are named by using the capital letter A, which
simply stands for "Autobahn" followed by a blank and a number (for
example A 8). The main autobahns going all across
Germany have a
single digit number. Shorter autobahns that are of regional importance
(e.g. connecting two major cities or regions within Germany) have a
double digit number (e.g. A 24, connecting
Berlin and Hamburg).
The system is as follows:
A 10 to A 19 are in eastern
Germany (Berlin, Saxony-Anhalt,
Saxony and Brandenburg)
A 20 to A 29 are in northern and northeastern Germany
A 30 to A 39 are in Lower
Saxony (northwestern Germany) and
A 40 to A 49 are in the
A 50 to A 59 are in the
Lower Rhine region
Lower Rhine region to Cologne
A 60 to A 69 are in Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland, Hesse
and northern Baden-Württemberg
A 70 to A 79 are in Thuringia, northern
Bavaria and parts of
A 80 to A 89 are in Baden-Württemberg
A 90 to A 99 are in (southern) Bavaria
There are also some very short autobahns built just for local traffic
(e.g. ring roads or the A 555 from
Cologne to Bonn) that usually
have three digits for numbering. The first digit used is similar to
the system above, depending on the region. East-west routes are always
even-numbered, north-south routes are always odd-numbered.
The north-south autobahns are generally numbered using odd numbers
from west to east; that is to say, the more easterly roads are given
higher numbers. Similarly, the east-west routes are numbered using
even numbers from north (lower numbers) to south (higher numbers).
Main article: Reichsautobahn
An autobahn with 4 lanes in each direction of travel for 21 kilometres
Typical section of modern autobahn near an interchange, with overhead
The idea for the construction of the autobahn was first conceived in
the mid-1920s during the days of the Weimar Republic, but the
construction was slow, and most projected sections did not progress
much beyond the planning stage due to economic problems and a lack of
political support. One project was the private initiative HaFraBa
which planned a "car-only road" crossing
Hamburg in the
north via central
Frankfurt am Main
Frankfurt am Main to
Basel in Switzerland. Parts of
HaFraBa were completed in the late 1930s and early 1940s, but
construction eventually was halted by World War II. The first public
road of this kind was completed in 1932 between
Cologne and Bonn and
Konrad Adenauer (
Lord Mayor of
Cologne and future Chancellor
of West Germany) on 6 August 1932. Today, that road is the
Bundesautobahn 555. This road was not yet called Autobahn
and lacked a center median like modern motorways, but instead was
termed a Kraftfahrstraße ("motor vehicle road") with two lanes each
direction without intersections, pedestrians, bicycles, or
One of the center pier-free bridges over the former Dessauer
Just days after the 1933 Nazi takeover,
Adolf Hitler enthusiastically
embraced an ambitious autobahn construction project, appointing Fritz
Todt, the Inspector General of German Road Construction, to lead it.
By 1936, 130,000 workers were directly employed in construction, as
well as an additional 270,000 in the supply chain for construction
equipment, steel, concrete, signage, maintenance equipment, etc. In
rural areas, new camps to house the workers were built near
construction sites. The job creation program aspect was not
especially important because full employment was almost reached by
1936. The autobahns were not primarily intended as major
infrastructure improvement of special value to the military as often
stated. Their military value was limited as all major military
Germany were done by train to save fuel. The propaganda
ministry turned the construction of the autobahns into a major media
event that attracted international attention.
The autobahns formed the first limited-access, high-speed road network
in the world, with the first section from
Frankfurt am Main
Frankfurt am Main to
Darmstadt opening in 1935. This straight section was used for
high-speed record attempts by the Grand Prix racing teams of
Auto Union until a fatal accident involving popular
German race driver
Bernd Rosemeyer in early 1938. The world record of
432 kilometres per hour (268 mph) set by
Rudolf Caracciola on
this stretch just prior to the accident remains one of the highest
speeds ever achieved on a public motorway. A similar intent in the
1930s existed for a ten-kilometre stretch of what is today
Bundesautobahn 9 just south of Dessau—called the Dessauer
Rennstrecke—had bridges with no piers, meant for land speed record
cars like the
Mercedes-Benz T80 to have made a record attempt in
January 1940, abandoned due to the outbreak of
World War II
World War II in Europe
four months earlier.
During World War II, the median strips of some autobahns were paved
over to allow their conversion into auxiliary airstrips. Aircraft were
either stashed in numerous tunnels or camouflaged in nearby woods.
However, for the most part during the war, the autobahns were not
militarily significant. Motor vehicles, such as trucks, could not
carry goods or troops as quickly or in as much bulk and in the same
numbers as trains could, and the autobahns could not be used by tanks
as their weight and caterpillar tracks damaged the road surface. The
general shortage of petrol in
Germany during much of the war, as well
as the low number of trucks and motor vehicles needed for direct
support of military operations, further decreased the autobahn's
significance. As a result, most military and economic freight was
carried by rail. After the war, numerous sections of the autobahns
were in bad shape, severely damaged by heavy Allied bombing and
military demolition. Furthermore, thousands of kilometres of autobahns
remained unfinished, their construction brought to a halt by 1943 due
to the increasing demands of the war effort.
The A 3 in 1991
Germany (FRG), most existing autobahns were repaired soon
after the war. During the 1950s, the West German government restarted
the construction program. It invested in new sections and in
improvements to older ones. Finishing the incomplete sections took
longer, with some stretches opened to traffic by the 1980s. Some
sections cut by the
Iron Curtain in 1945 were only completed after
German reunification in 1990. Others were never completed, as more
advantageous routes were found. Some of these incomplete sections to
this very day stretch across the landscape forming a unique type of
modern ruin, often easily visible on satellite photographs.
The autobahns of East
Germany (GDR) were neglected in comparison to
those in West
Germany after 1945. East German autobahns were used
primarily for GDR military traffic and for state-owned farming or
manufacturing vehicles. The speed limit on the GDR autobahns was
100 km/h; however, lower speed limits were frequently encountered
due to poor or quickly changing road conditions. The speed limits on
the GDR autobahns were rigorously enforced by the Volkspolizei, whose
patrol cars were frequently found hiding under camouflage tarpaulins
waiting for speeders.
The last four kilometres of remaining original Reichsautobahn, a
section of A 11 northeast of
Gartz built in 1936—the
westernmost remainder of the never-finished Berlinka—are scheduled
for replacement around 2015. Roadway condition is described as
"deplorable"; the 25-metre-long concrete slabs, too long for proper
expansion, are cracking under the weight of the traffic as well as the
German-built Reichsautobahnen in other countries
The first autobahn in Austria was the
West Autobahn from Wals near
Salzburg to Vienna. Building started by command of Adolf Hitler
shortly after the
Anschluss in 1938. It extended the
from Munich (the present-day A8), however only 16.8 km
(10.4 mi) including the branch-off of the planned Tauern Autobahn
was opened to the public on 13 September 1941. Construction works
discontinued the next year and were not resumed until 1955.
There are sections of the former German
Reichsautobahn system in the
former eastern territories of Germany, i.e. East Prussia, Farther
Pomerania and Silesia; these territories became parts of Poland and
the Soviet Union with the implementation of the Oder–Neisse line
after World War II. Parts of the planned autobahn from
Königsberg (the Berlinka) were completed as far as Stettin (Szczecin)
on 27 September 1936. After the war, they were incorporated as the A6
autostrada of the Polish motorway network. A single-carriageway
section of the
Berlinka east of the former "Polish Corridor" and the
Free City of Danzig
Free City of Danzig opened in 1938; today it forms the Polish S22
Elbląg (Elbing) to the border with the Russian
Kaliningrad Oblast, where it is continued by the R516 regional road.
Also on 27 September 1936, a section from Breslau (Wrocław) to
Liegnitz (Legnica) in
Silesia was inaugurated, which today is part of
the Polish A4 autostrada, followed by the (single vehicle)
Reichsautobahn 9 from Bunzlau (Bolesławiec) to Sagan (Żagań) the
next year, today part of the Polish A18 autostrada.
After the German occupation of Czechoslovakia, plans for a motorway
connecting Breslau with Vienna via
Brno (Brünn) in the "Protectorate
of Bohemia and Moravia" were carried out from 1939 until construction
works discontinued in 1942. A section of the former Strecke 88 near
Brno is today part of the R52 expressway of the Czech Republic.
As of 2016[update], Germany's autobahn network has a total length of
about 12,993 km. From 2009
Germany has embarked on a massive
widening and rehabilitation project, expanding the lane count of many
of its major arterial routes, such as the A5 in the southwest and A8
Most sections of Germany's autobahns are modern, containing two or
three, sometimes four lanes in addition to an emergency lane (hard
shoulder). A few other sections remain in an old state, with two
lanes, no emergency lane, and short slip-roads and ramps.
Directional arrow on a delineator
About 16,000 emergency telephones are distributed at regular intervals
all along the autobahn network, with triangular stickers on the armco
barriers pointing the way to the nearest one. Despite the increasing
use of mobile phones, there are still some 700 calls made each day on
Emergency service or
Roadside assistance to come to the right
location, the road kilometre must be given as part of the emergency
Parking, rest areas and truck stops
Road kilometre sign German federal motorway "
Autobahn 6", km 565.0
For breaks during longer journeys, parking sites, rest areas and truck
stops are distributed over the complete
Autobahn network. Parking on
the autobahn is prohibited in the strictest terms outside these
designated areas. There is a distinction between "managed" and
"unmanaged" rest areas. (German: bewirtschaftet / unbewirtschaftet).
Unmanaged rest areas are basically only parking spaces, sometimes with
toilets. They form a part of the German highway system; the plots of
land are federal property.
Autobahn exits leading to such parking
areas are marked 200 metres in advance with a blue sign with the white
letter "P". They are found every few kilometres.
A managed rest area (German: Autobahnraststätte or Raststätte for
short) usually also includes a filling station, charging station,
lavatories, toilets and baby changes. Many rest areas also have
restaurants, shops, public telephones, internet access and a
playground. Some have hotels. Mandated every 50 km or so, rest
areas are usually open all night.
Both kinds of rest areas are directly on the autobahn, with their own
exits, and any service roads connecting them to the rest of the road
network are usually closed to general traffic. The autobahn must not
be left at rest areas.
Truck stops (German Autohof, plural Autohöfe) are far rarer. Located
at general exits, usually at a small distance from the autobahn, they
have no ramps of their own.
Truck stop Scandinavian Park off the A 7
Rest area Dammer Berge on the A 1
Rest areas and truck stops are marked several times, starting several
kilometres in advance, and with larger signs that often include icons
announcing what kinds of facilities travellers can expect.
Autobahn with three separate lanes in each direction and an emergency
On the autobahns there is an advisory speed limit
(Richtgeschwindigkeit) of 130 km/h (unless otherwise regulated by
The "limits no longer apply" (Ende aller Streckenverbote) sign,
indicating a return to the default speed, while lifting all other
limits as well (all limits are indicated by round signs with red
GPS tracks colored according to speed show considerable speed
differences at an autobahn crossing
Germany's autobahns are famous for being among the few public roads in
the world without blanket speed limits for cars and motorcycles. As
such, they are important German cultural identifiers, "... often
mentioned in hushed, reverential tones by motoring enthusiasts and
looked at with a mix of awe and terror by outsiders." Some speed
limits are implemented on different autobahns.
Certain limits are imposed on some classes of vehicles:
60 km/h (37 mph)
Buses carrying standing passengers
Motorcycles pulling trailers
80 km/h (50 mph)
Vehicles with maximum allowed weight exceeding 3.5 t (except passenger
Passenger cars and trucks with trailers
100 km/h (62 mph)
Passenger cars pulling trailers certified for 100 km/h
Buses certified for 100 km/h not towing trailers
Additionally, speed limits are posted at most on- and off-ramps and
interchanges and other danger points like sections under
construction or in need of repair.
Where no general limit is required, the advisory speed limit is
130 km/h (81 mph), referred to in German as the
Richtgeschwindigkeit. The advisory speed is not enforceable; however,
being involved in an accident driving at higher speeds can lead to the
driver being deemed at least partially responsible due to "increased
operating danger" (Erhöhte Betriebsgefahr).
The Federal Highway Research Institute (Bundesanstalt für
Straßenwesen) solicited information about speed regulations on
autobahns from the sixteen States and reported the following,
comparing the years 2006 and 2008:
Advisory Limit Only
Variable Limit (with Advisory Maximum)
Permanent or Conditional Speed Limit
Except at construction sites, the general speed limits, where they
apply, are usually between 100 km/h (62 mph) and
130 km/h (81 mph); construction sites usually have a speed
limit of 80 km/h (50 mph) but the limit may be as low as
60 km/h (37 mph). In rare cases, sections may have
limits of 40 km/h (25 mph), or on one ramp 30 km/h
(19 mph). Certain stretches have lower speed limits during
wet weather. Some areas have a speed limit of 120 km/h
(75 mph) in order to reduce noise pollution during overnight
hours (usually 10pm – 6am) or because of increased traffic
during daytime (6am – 8pm).
Dynamic traffic signs on an Autobahn
Some limits were imposed to reduce pollution and noise. Limits can
also be temporarily put into place through dynamic traffic guidance
systems that display the according message. More than half of the
total length of the German autobahn network has no speed limit, about
one third has a permanent limit, and the remaining parts have a
temporary or conditional limit.
Some cars with very powerful engines can reach speeds of well over
300 km/h (190 mph). Major German car manufacturers, except
Porsche, follow a gentlemen's agreement by electronically limiting the
top speeds of their cars—with the exception of some top of the range
models or engines—to 250 km/h (155 mph). These
limiters can be deactivated, so speeds up to 300 km/h
(190 mph) might arise on the German autobahn, but due to other
traffic, such speeds are generally not attainable. Most unlimited
sections of the autobahn are located outside densely populated areas.
Vehicles with a top speed less than 60 km/h (37 mph) (such
as quads, low-end microcars, and agricultural/construction equipment)
are not allowed to use the autobahn, nor are motorcycles and scooters
with low engine capacity regardless of top speed (mainly applicable to
mopeds which are typically limited to 25 or 45 km/h anyway). To
comply with this limit, heavy-duty trucks in
Germany (e.g. mobile
cranes, tank transporters etc.) often have a maximum design speed of
62 km/h (39 mph) (usually denoted by a round black-on-white
sign with "62" on it), along with flashing orange beacons to warn
approaching cars that they are travelling slowly. There is no general
minimum speed but drivers are not allowed to drive at an unnecessarily
low speed as this would lead to significant traffic disturbance and an
increased collision risk.
German national speed limits have a historical association with
war-time restrictions and deprivations, the Nazi era, and the Soviet
era in East Germany. "Free driving for free citizens" ("freie Fahrt
für freie Bürger"), a slogan promoted by the German Auto Club since
the 1970s, is a popular slogan among those opposing autobahn speed
restrictions. Tarek Al-Wazir, head of the Green Party in
Hesse, and currently the Hessian Transport Minister has stated that
"the speed limit in
Germany has a similar status as the right to bear
arms in the American debate... At some point, a speed limit will
become reality here, and soon we will not be able to remember the time
before. It's like the smoking ban in restaurants."
Weimar Republic had no federally required speed limits. The first
crossroads-free road for motorized vehicles only, now A555 between
Bonn and Cologne, had a 120 km/h (75 mph) limit when it
opened in 1932. In October 1939, the Nazis instituted the first
national maximum speed limit, throttling speeds to 80 km/h
(50 mph) in order to conserve gasoline for the war effort.
After the war, the four Allied occupation zones established their own
speed limits until the divided East German and West German republics
were constituted in 1949; initially, the Nazi speed limits were
restored in both East and West Germany.
After the World Wars
In December 1952 the West German legislature voted to abolish all
national speed limits, seeing them as Nazi relics, reverting to
State-level decisions. National limits were reestablished
incrementally. The 50 km/h (31 mph) urban limit was enacted
in 1956, effective in 1957. The 100 km/h (62 mph) limit
on rural roads—except autobahns—became effective in 1972.
Oil crisis of the 1970s
Just prior to the 1973 oil crisis, Germany, Switzerland, and
Austria all had no general speed restriction on autobahns.
During the crisis, like other nations,
Germany imposed temporary speed
restrictions; for example, 100 km/h (62 mph) on autobahns
effective November 13, 1973. Automakers projected a 20% plunge in
sales, which they attributed in part to the lowered speed limits.
The 100 km/h limit championed by Transportation Minister Lauritz
Lauritzen lasted 111 days. Adjacent nations with unlimited speed
autobahns, Austria and Switzerland, imposed permanent
130 km/h (81 mph) limits after the crisis.
However, after the crisis eased in 1974, the upper house of the German
parliament, which was controlled by conservative parties, successfully
resisted the imposition of a permanent mandatory limit supported by
Chancellor Brandt. The upper house insisted on a 130 km/h
(81 mph) recommended limit until a thorough study of the effects
of a mandatory limit could be conducted. Accordingly, the Federal
Highway Research Institute conducted a multiple-year experiment,
switching between mandatory and recommended limits on two test
stretches of autobahn. In the final report issued in 1977, the
Institute stated the mandatory speed limit could reduce the autobahn
death toll but there would be economic impacts, so a political
decision had to be made due to the trade-offs involved. At that
time, the Federal Government declined to impose a mandatory limit.
The fatality rate trend on the German autobahn mirrored those of other
nations' motorways that imposed a general speed limit.
Environmental concerns of the 1980s
In the mid-1980s, acid rain and sudden forest destruction renewed
debate on whether or not a general speed limit should be imposed on
autobahns. A car's fuel consumption increases with high speed,
and fuel conservation is a key factor in reducing air pollution.
Environmentalists argued that enforcing limits of 100 km/h
(62 mph) limit on autobahns and 80 km/h (50 mph) on
other rural roads would save lives as well as the forest, reducing the
annual death toll by 30% (250 lives) on autobahns and 15% (1,000
lives) on rural roads; the German motor vehicle death toll was
about 10,000 at the time. The Federal Government sponsored a
large-scale experiment with a 100 km/h (62 mph) speed limit
in order to measure the impact of reduced speeds on emissions and
compliance. Afterward, again, the Federal Government declined to
impose a mandatory limit, deciding the modest measured emission
reduction would have no meaningful effect on forest loss. By 1987
all restrictions on test sections had been removed, even in Hesse
where the state government was controlled by a "red-green"
German reunification in 1990, eastern German states focused
on restrictive traffic regulation such as a 100 km/h
(62 mph) autobahn speed limit and of 80 km/h (50 mph)
on other rural roads. Within two years after the opening, availability
of high-powered vehicles and a 54% increase in motorized traffic led
to a doubling of annual traffic deaths, despite "interim
arrangements [which] involved the continuation of the speed limit of
100 km/h (62 mph) on autobahns and of 80 km/h
(50 mph) outside cities". An extensive program of the four Es
(enforcement, education, engineering, and emergency response) brought
the number of traffic deaths back to pre-unification levels after a
decade of effort while traffic regulations were conformed to western
standards (e.g., 130 km/h (81 mph) freeway advisory limit,
100 km/h (62 mph) on other rural roads, and 0.05 percent
In 1993, the Social democratic-Green Party coalition controlling the
Hesse experimented with a 90 km/h (56 mph) limit on
autobahns and 80 km/h (50 mph) on other rural roads.
These limits were attempts to reduce ozone pollution.
During his term of office (1998 to 2005) as Chancellor of Germany,
Gerhard Schröder opposed an autobahn speed limit, famously referring
Germany as an Autofahrernation (a "nation of drivers").
In October 2007, at a party congress held by the Social Democratic
Party of Germany, delegates narrowly approved a proposal to introduce
a blanket speed limit of 130 km/h (81 mph) on all German
autobahns. While this initiative is primarily a part of the SPD's
general strategic outline for the future and, according to practices,
not necessarily meant to affect immediate government policy, the
proposal had stirred up a debate once again; Germany's chancellor
since 2005, Angela Merkel, and leading cabinet members expressed
outspoken disapproval of such a measure.
In 2008, the Social Democratic-Green Party coalition controlling
Germany's smallest State, the paired City-State of Bremen &
Bremerhaven, imposed a 120-kilometre-per-hour (75 mph) limit on
its last 11 kilometres (6.8 mi) of speed-unlimited autobahn
in hopes of leading other States to do likewise.
In 2011, the first ever Green minister-president of any German state,
Winfried Kretschmann of
Baden-Württemberg initially argued for a
similar, state-level 120 kilometres per hour (75 mph) limit.
Baden-Württemberg is an important location for the German
motor industry, including the headquarters of
Daimler AG and
Porsche; the ruling coalition ultimately decided against a
state-level limit on its 675 kilometres (419 mi) of
speed-unlimited roads—arguing for nationwide speed limit
In 2014, the conservative-liberal ruling coalition of
its rejection of a general speed limit on autobahns, instead
advocating dynamic traffic controls where appropriate. Between
2010 and 2014 in the State of Hesse, transportation ministers Dieter
Posch and his successor Florian Rentsch, both members of
the Free Democratic Party, removed or raised speed limits on several
sections of autobahn following regular 5-year reviews of speed limit
effectiveness; some sections just prior to the installation of Tarek
Al-Wazir (Green Party) as Transportation Minister in January
2014 as part of an uneasy CDU-green coalition government. In
2015, the left-green coalition government of
Thuringia declared that a
general autobahn limit was a Federal matter;
Thuringia would not
unlaterally impose a general Statewide limit, although the Thuringian
environmental minister had recommended a 120 kilometres per hour
(75 mph) limit.
In late 2015, Winfried Hermann, Baden-Württemberg's Green minister of
transportation, promised to impose a trial speed limit of 120
kilometres per hour (75 mph) on about 10% of the state's
autobahns beginning in May 2016. However, the ruling green-social
democratic coalition lost its majority in the March 2016
elections; while Mr Hermann retained his post in the new Green –
Christian Democratic government, he put aside preparations for a speed
limit due to opposition from his new coalition partners.
In 2014, autobahns carried 31% of motorized road traffic while
accounting for 11% of Germany's traffic deaths. The autobahn fatality
rate of 1.6 deaths per billion travel-kilometres compared favorably
with the 4.6 rate on urban streets and 6.5 rate on rural roads.
Between 1970 and 2010, overall German road fatalities decreased by
almost 80% from 19,193 to 3,648; over the same time period, autobahn
deaths halved from 945 to 430 deaths. Statistics for 2013 show
total German traffic deaths had declined to the lowest count ever
recorded: 3,340 (428 on autobahns); a representative of the Federal
Statistical Office attributed the general decline to harsh winter
weather that delayed the start of the motorcycle-riding
season. In 2014, there was a total of 3,377 road fatalities,
while autobahn deaths dropped to 375.
Fatalities per 1000 Injury Crashes
* per 1,000,000,000 travel-kilometres
In 2012, the leading cause of autobahn accidents was "excessive speed
(for conditions)": 6,587 so-called "speed related" crashes claimed the
lives of 179 people, which represents almost half (46.3%) of 387
autobahn fatalities that year. However, "excessive speed" does not
mean that a speed limit has been exceeded, but that police determined
at least one party travelled too fast for existing road or weather
conditions. On autobahns 22 people died per 1,000 injury crashes;
a lower rate than the 29 deaths per 1,000 injury accidents on
conventional rural roads, which in turn is five times higher than the
risk on urban roads—speeds are higher on rural roads and autobahns
than urban roads, increasing the severity potential of a crash.
Safety: international comparison
A few countries publish the safety record of their motorways; the
Federal Highway Research Institute provided
IRTAD statistics for
the year 2012:
Killed per 1,000,000,000 veh·km
For example, a person yearly traversing 15,000 kilometres
(9,300 mi) on regular roads and 10,000 kilometres (6,200 mi)
on motorways has an approximately 1 in 11,000 chance of dying in a car
accident on a German road in any particular year (1 in 57,000 on an
autobahn), compared to 1 in 3,800 in Czech Republic, 1 in 17,000 in
Denmark, or 1 in 7,200 in the United States.
However, there are many differences between countries in their
geography, economy, traffic growth, highway system size, degree of
urbanization and motorization, and so on.
The Federal government does not regularly measure or estimate travel
speeds. One study reported in a transportation engineering journal
offered historical perspective on the increase in travel speeds over a
decade, as shown below.
(for light vehicles)
Average (mean) speed
112.3 km/h (70 mph)
117.2 km/h (73 mph)
120.4 km/h (75 mph)
85th percentile speed
139.2 km/h (86 mph)
145.1 km/h (90 mph)
148.2 km/h (92 mph)
Percentage exceeding 130 km/h
Source: Kellermann, G: Geschwindigkeitsverhalten im Autobahnnetz 1992.
Straße+Autobahn, Issue 5/1995.
The Federal Environmental Office reported that, on a free-flowing
section in 1992, the recorded average speed was 132 km/h
(82 mph) with 51% of drivers exceeding the recommended speed.
In 2006, speeds were recorded using automated detection loops in the
Brandenburg at two points: on a six-lane section of A9 near
Niemegk with a 130 km/h (81 mph) advisory speed limit; and
on a four-lane section of A10 bypassing
Groß Kreutz with
a 120 km/h (75 mph) mandatory limit. The results are
130 km/h advisory
120 km/h mandatory
A9 (6 lanes)
A10 (4 lanes)
141.8 km/h (88 mph)
116.5 km/h (72 mph)
88.2 km/h (55 mph)
88.0 km/h (55 mph)
97.7 km/h (61 mph)
94.4 km/h (59 mph)
131.9 km/h (82 mph)
110.1 km/h (68 mph)
At peak times on the "free-flowing" section of A9, over 60% of road
users exceeded the recommended 130 km/h (81 mph) maximum
speed, more than 30% of motorists exceeded 150 km/h
(93 mph), and more than 15% exceeded 170 km/h
(106 mph)—in other words the so-called "85th-percentile speed"
was in excess of 170 km/h.
On 1 January 2005, a new system came into effect for mandatory tolls
(Mautpflicht) on heavy trucks (those weighing more than 12 t) while
using the German autobahn system (LKW-Maut). The German government
contracted with a private company,
Toll Collect GmbH, to operate the
toll collection system, which has involved the use of vehicle-mounted
transponders and roadway-mounted sensors installed throughout Germany.
The toll is calculated depending on the toll route, as well as based
on the pollution class of the vehicle, its weight and the number of
axles on the vehicles. Certain vehicles, such as emergency vehicles
and buses, are exempt from the toll. An average user is charged
€0.15 per kilometre, or about $0.31 per mile (Toll Collect, 2007).
Traffic laws and enforcement
German police car (Bavaria, green)
German police car (Lower-Saxony, blue)
High Visibility German police car (Lower-Saxony, blue)
Germany is regulated by the Straßenverkehrs-Ordnung (road
traffic regulations, abbreviated StVO). Enforcement on the federal
Autobahnen is handled by each state's Highway Patrol
(Autobahnpolizei), often using unmarked police cars and motorcycles
and usually equipped with video cameras, thus allowing easier
enforcement of laws such as tailgating. Notable laws include the
The right lane should be used when it is free (Rechtsfahrgebot) and
the left lane is generally intended only for overtaking unless traffic
is too dense to justify driving only on the right lane. It is legal to
give a short horn or light signal (flashing headlights or Lichthupe)
in order to indicate the intention of overtaking, but a safe distance
to the vehicle in front must be maintained, otherwise this might
be regarded as an act of coercion.
Penalties for tailgating were increased in May 2006 to a maximum of
€375 and three months' license suspension: "drivers must keep a
distance in metres that is equal to half their speed. For example, a
driver going 100 km/h on the autobahn must keep a distance of at least
50 metres (165 feet)". The penalty increase followed uproar after an
infamous fatal crash on
Autobahn 5 in 2003.
In a traffic jam, drivers must form an emergency lane (Rettungsgasse)
to allow emergency services to reach the scene of an accident. This
improvised alley is to be created on the dividing line between the two
It is unlawful to stop for any reason on the autobahn, except for
emergencies and when unavoidable, like traffic jams or being involved
in an accident. This includes stopping on emergency lanes. Running out
of fuel is considered an avoidable occurrence, as by law there are
petrol stations directly on the autobahn approximately every
50–55 km (31–34 mi). Drivers may face fines and up to
six months' suspension, should it come to a stop that was deemed
unnecessary by the police. In some cases (if there is a direct danger
to life and limb or property e.g. cars and highway infrastructure) it
may also be considered a crime and the driver could receive a prison
sentence (up to 5 years).
Overtaking on the right (undertaking) is strictly forbidden, except
when stuck in traffic jams. Up to a speed of 80 km/h
(50 mph) it is permitted to pass cars on the right side if the
speed difference is not greater than 20 km/h (12 mph) or the
vehicle on the left lane is stationary. This is not referred to as
overtaking, but driving past. Even if the car overtaken is illegally
occupying the left-hand lane, it is not an acceptable excuse; in such
cases, the police will routinely stop and fine both drivers. However,
exceptions can and have sometimes been made.
In popular culture
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Film and television
Alarm für Cobra 11 – Die
Autobahnpolizei (Alarm for Cobra 11 –
Autobahn Police, 1996–), a famous German TV series focusing on
the work of a team of motorway police officers and their
investigations, set in the autobahn-intertwined Rhine-Ruhr
Reichsautobahn (documentary/b&w) by Hartmut Bitomsky (West
"Autobahn", a song and album by German electronic band Kraftwerk
Need for Speed: ProStreet, Burnout 3: Takedown, and Burnout Dominator
use autobahn as one of their tracks.
Euro Truck Simulator 2
Euro Truck Simulator 2 features
Autobahn in its open world map. Burnout 3: Takedown named them as
Burnout Dominator divided them into two (
Autobahn Loop). Need for Speed:
Porsche Unleashed also had a track
that had the player drive across different sections of the autobahn.
The entire game world of Crash Time:
Autobahn Pursuit is set on the
Gran Turismo 5
Gran Turismo 5 and Gran Turismo 6, a trophy is awarded to
those who have driven the same distance as the autobahn total length.
In December 2010 video game developer Synetic GmbH and Conspiracy
Entertainment released the title Alarm für Cobra 11 – Die
Autobahnpolizei featuring real world racing and mission-based
gameplay. It is taken from the popular German television series about
a two-man team of
Autobahnpolizei first set in
Berlin then later in
Transport in Germany
^ a b Jeremic, Sam (16 September 2013). "Fun, fun, fun on the
autobahn". The West Australian. Retrieved 17 September 2013.
^ a b "Auswirkungen eines allgemeinen Tempolimits auf Autobahnen im
Land Brandenburg". Brandenburg. October 2007. Retrieved 4 December
1) (German:) "Auf einer 6-streifigen
Autobahn ergibt sich für den
Pkw-Verkehr im Mittel eine Geschwindigkeit von 142 km/h... Der Bereich
zwischen v15 (von 15% unterschritten) und v85 (von 85% unterschritten)
wird für den geschwindigkeitsunbegrenzten Abschnitt mit 115 ... 167
^ Statistisches Landesamt Baden-Württemberg. "Gemeinsames
Datenangebot der Statistischen Ämter des Bundes und der Länder".
Retrieved 14 April 2016.
^ W. Dick; A. Lichtenberg (4 August 2012). "The myth of Hitler's role
in building the German autobahn". Deutsche Welle. Retrieved 4 August
^ German Myth 8 Hitler and the Autobahn, German.about.com
^ Wie die
Autobahn ins Rheinland kam, documentary (in German)
^ rf/cj. "Die Reichsautobahnen" (in German). Deutsches Historisches
Museum. Retrieved 1 July 2012.
^ "Europas erste
Autobahn wird 75".
Der Spiegel (in German). 4 August
^ Gartman, David (2009). From Autos to Architecture: Fordism and
Architectural Aesthetics in the Twentieth Century. Chronicle Books.
^ Adam Tooze (2008). The Wages of Destruction: The Making and Breaking
of the Nazi Economy. Penguin. pp. 45–46, 59–60.
^ Richard Vahrenkamp. Roads without Cars. The HAFRABA Association and
Autobahn Project 1933–1943 in Germany.
^ "Working Papers in the History of Mobility No. 1/2001".
Ibwl.uni-kassel.de. Retrieved 2012-01-14.
^ "Last section of Germany's Autobahn, built in 1936, to disappear".
UPI.com. 2013-09-30. Retrieved 2014-03-21.
^ "Hitler's last motorway to disappear". The Local. Sep 30, 2013.
^ Haiko Prengel (2013-09-29). "Vier Kilometer Geschichte". Die Welt
(in German). Retrieved 2014-03-21.
^ "Beginn des Autobahnbaus in Österreich" (in German). Wabweb.net.
Archived from the original on 8 March 2012. Retrieved 14 January
^ "R+V24 Ratgeber: Auto und Motorrad". Retrieved 14 April 2016.
^ Brian Purcell (2010). "National Transport Rules of the Road".
Brian's Guide To Getting Around Germany. Brian Purcell. Retrieved 1
^ See map with its associated legend.
^ "StVO – Einzelnorm". Retrieved 14 April 2016.
^ "A 95: Unfall-
Porsche beschlagnahmt: Starnberg – Nach dem
tödlichen Unfall auf der
Autobahn A 95 am Starnberger Dreieck stellt
sich die Frage einer Geschwindigkeitsbegrenzung. Bereits im Oktober
2012 gab es hier einen schweren Unfall. [Translation: A 95: Crashed
Porsche Seized: Starnberg – After the fatal accident on
autobahn A95 at
Starnberg three-way junction, the question of a speed
limit arises. In October 2012 there was a prior serious accident
here.]". Münchner Merkur. August 6, 2013. Retrieved 2013-09-29. Die
Spekulationen über das Tempo des
Porsche schießen ins Kraut –
und es kommt die Frage auf, ob ein Tempolimit auf der zweispurigen
Strecke den Unfall hätte verhindern können. Der Porsche –
nach neueren Angaben ein mit einem 911er fast identischer 996 GT3 mit
mehr als 350 PS – soll deutlich mehr als 200 Stundenkilometer
schnell gewesen sein... Bis November 2007 galt am Starnberger Dreieck
ein Tempolimit von 120 km/h. Das allerdings war nur ein vierjähriger
Test – nachdem es schwere Unfälle gegeben hatte. Eine
Verbesserung war damals nicht festgestellt worden. Über eine
Wiedereinführung oder andere Maßnahmen müsste die Unfallkommission
von Autobahndirektion und Polizei entscheiden. Ob der Unfall dort bei
der nächsten jährlichen Sitzung Thema sein wird oder Anlass für
eine so genannte Sonderverkehrsschau ist, war gestern noch unklar. Die
Kommission befasst sich nur mit Unfallschwerpunkten. [Translation:
Speculation about the speed of the
Porsche is running wild –
and with it comes to the question of whether a speed limit could have
prevented the accident. The Porsche... was said to be traveling
significantly faster than 200 kilometers per hour. Until November 2007
a speed limit of 120 km/h was in force at the
interchange. However, that was only a four-year test –
initiated after some serious accidents. An improvement was not
observed at that time. A reintroduction or other measures may be
decided by the crash commission of the Highway Administration and the
police. Whether the accident a subject at the next annual meeting of
the commission or whether a so-called special meeting will be called
was still unclear. The commission deals only with collision black
^ "Tempolimit auf Autobahnen 2008 (Speed limits on autobahns 2008)".
Bundesanstant fuer Strassenwesen (Federal Highway Research Institute).
^ Kubbernuß, Ralf. "60 km/h erlaubte Höchstgeschwindigkeit – auf
^ Christoph Koopmeiners (29 September 2011). "A 29: An neun Baustellen
gilt Tempo 40". NWZonline. Retrieved 14 April 2016.
^ NDR. "Tempo 30: Es blitzt und blitzt an der Autobahn". Retrieved 14
^ "Grenzenlos – das 250 km/h-Limit bröckelt", Auto, Motor und
Sport (in German)
^ "Die Sache mit der Geschwindigkeit – Geschichte der
Tempobeschraenkungen im Fuer und Wider – Transport Research
International Documentation – TRID". Retrieved 14 April 2016.
^ Stefan Anker (3 November 2013). "Tempolimit: Freie Fahrt – Wo geht
das noch in Deutschland?". Die Welt. Retrieved 14 April 2016.
^ "Speed limits on autobahn? Nein, danke – US news – Environment
– Climate Change – NBC News". msnbc.com. Retrieved 14 April
^ Michael Birnbaum (20 May 2013). "
Autobahn speed limit proposal revs
up debate in Germany". Washington Post. Retrieved 14 April 2016.
^ "Driving the Autobahn? Just look for an exit".
tribunedigital-chicagotribune. Retrieved 14 April 2016.
^ Pitt von Bebenburg (2013-06-21). "FR: Interview Al-Wazir: Tempolimit
wird Realität". Frankfurter Rundschau. Retrieved 2016-09-05.
^ "The myth of Hitler′s role in building the autobahn". DW.COM. 4
August 2012. Retrieved 14 April 2016.
^ "50 Jahre Tempo 50: Im Taumel des Wirtschaftswunders: Für das
fehlende Tempolimit auf Autobahnen ist Deutschland weltberühmt.
[Translation: 50 years at 50 km/h: In the Frenzy of the Economic
Miracle]". Süddeutsche Zeitung. 22 May 2010. Retrieved 2013-09-10. Im
Oktober 1939 drosselten die Nazis das Tempo. In der Stadt durfte man
40, überall sonst 80 km/h fahren. Offizielle Begründung war die
Verkehrssicherheit. In Wirklichkeit sollten die Deutschen mit ihrer
gezügelten Fahrweise Benzin sparen, für die Wehrmacht.
^ "50 Jahre Tempo 50: Im Taumel des Wirtschaftswunders [Translation:
50 years at 50 km/h: In the Frenzy of the Economic Miracle]".
Süddeutsche Zeitung. 22 May 2010. Retrieved 2013-09-10. 1945 führten
die Besatzungsmächte in den einzelnen Zonen unterschiedliche
Regelungen ein. Von 1949 an galten dann die Tempolimits der Nazis
wieder in ganz Deutschland, sowohl die BRD als auch die DDR
^ "50 Jahre Tempo 50: Im Taumel des Wirtschaftswunders: Für das
fehlende Tempolimit auf Autobahnen ist Deutschland weltberühmt. Was
kaum einer weiß: Bis zum 1. September 1957 gab es in der BRD
überhaupt kein Limit. Selbst innerorts durfte gerast werden.
[TRANSLATION: 50 years at 50 km/h: In the Frenzy of the Economic
Germany is world-famous for unlimited speeds on motorways.
But few know that until 1 September 1957 there were no limits at all;
race speeds were legal even in towns]". Süddeutsche Zeitung. 22 May
2010. Retrieved 2013-09-10. Die nächste Episode in der Geschichte des
Tempolimits klingt aus heutiger Sicht unglaublich: Im Westen schaffte
der Bundestag im Dezember 1952 sämtliche Höchstgeschwindigkeiten ab.
Nicht die Nazi-Handschrift war das Problem am Gesetz, sondern
Technikbegeisterung, verbunden mit dem allgemeinen Taumel der
^ SPIEGEL ONLINE, Hamburg, Germany. "VERKEHR /
GESCHWINDIGKEITSBESCHRÄNKUNG: Nächstes Jahr langsamer". Retrieved 14
^ a b
^ a b "Seit 35 Jahren Tempolimit auf Autobahnen". ORF. 2009-04-28.
^ a b "ÖAMTC/Sicherheit". Oeamtc.at. Retrieved 2014-03-21.
Richtgeschwindigkeit verdrängt Tempo 100 Zeitgeschichte,
Zeitzeugen und Erinnerungen". Chroniknet.de. 1977-05-29. Retrieved
^ "Dann sind wir tot ("Then We're Dead")".
Der Spiegel ("The Mirror").
May 3, 1974. Retrieved 2013-09-10. Selbst notorisch optimistische
Automanager geben zu, daß die Branche "mit einem steifen Gegenwind"
fertig werden muß. Sie rechnen für dieses Jahr mit einem
Produktionsminus von etwa zwanzig Prozent. [Even notoriously
optimistic auto executives admit that the industry faces "a stiff
headwind." They expect this year a production fall of about twenty
^ "111 Tage mit Tempo 100 ("111 Days With Speed 100")". Frankfurter
Rundschau. May 10, 2013. Retrieved 2013-09-10. Die bisherigen
Kräfteverhältnisse zwischen Befürwortern und Gegnern eines
Tempolimits auf bundesdeutschen Autobahnen sind eindeutig: Eine
generelle Beschränkung der Geschwindigkeit gab es in der 80-jährigen
Geschichte dieser Straßen nur ein einziges Mal und sie galt lediglich
111 Tage lang. [The current balance of power between supporters and
opponents of a speed limit on German motorways is clear: The only
general speed limitation in the 80-year history of autobahns happened
only once, and lasted only 111 days.]
^ SPIEGEL ONLINE, Hamburg, Germany. "VERKEHR: Blut sehen". Retrieved
14 April 2016.
^ SPIEGEL ONLINE, Hamburg, Germany. "Letzte Chance für Vernunft im
Verkehr". Retrieved 14 April 2016.
^ "AUSWIRKUNGEN EINER RICHTGESCHWINDIGKEIT IM VERGLEICH ZU EINER
HOECHSTGESCHWINDIGKEIT VON 130 KM/H AUF AUTOBAHNEN – Transport
Research International Documentation – TRID". Retrieved 14 April
^ SPIEGEL ONLINE, Hamburg, Germany. "Meist kracht es tags und auf dem
Trockenen". Retrieved 14 April 2016.
Autobahn Fatality Rates and General Speed Limits: What Really
Happened in 1973/74?".
^ SPIEGEL ONLINE, Hamburg, Germany. "VERKEHR: Trick mit Zahlen".
Retrieved 14 April 2016.
^ SPIEGEL ONLINE, Hamburg, Germany. "Tempolimit: Taktik statt Taten".
Retrieved 14 April 2016.
^ SPIEGEL ONLINE, Hamburg, Germany. "Tempo 100 rettet 1250
Menschenleben". Retrieved 14 April 2016.
^ a b c d "Traffic and Accident Data: Summary Statistics –
Germany" (PDF). Bundesanstalt für Straßenwesen (Federal Highway
Research Institute). Bundesanstalt für Straßenwesen. September 2015.
^ SPIEGEL ONLINE, Hamburg, Germany. "TEMPO-LIMIT: Schwimmen im Strom".
Retrieved 14 April 2016.
^ SPIEGEL ONLINE, Hamburg, Germany. "TEMPOLIMIT: Verdammt schwierig".
Retrieved 14 April 2016.
^ "Zeitgeschichte in Hessen – Daten, Fakten, Hintergründe".
Retrieved 14 April 2016.
^ "Traffic Safety – The German Experience after Reunification"
(PDF). German Society for Technical Cooperation. 2004-11-06. Retrieved
^ "Zeitgeschichte in Hessen – Daten, Fakten, Hintergründe".
Retrieved 14 April 2016.
^ "No More Fun on the Autobahn?". TIME.com. 29 October 2007. Retrieved
14 April 2016.
^ Kate Connolly (30 October 2007). "Car lobby angry at plan to limit
autobahn speeds". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media Limited.
Retrieved 1 July 2012.
^ "Slow Down: German State Introduces
Autobahn Speed Limit". Der
Spiegel. 2008-04-09. Retrieved 2014-03-21. From now on, the maximum
speed allowed is 120 kilometers per hour (75 miles per hour). In
practical terms, the change is not a big one -- it only affects 11
kilometers (6.8 miles) of autobahn connecting the cities of Bremen and
Bremerhaven. The rest of the tiny city-state's 49 kilometers (30.5
miles) of autobahn has long had speed restrictions aimed at fighting
congestion, noise and pollution.
^ Manfred Kühnappel. "Als erstes Bundesland: Bremen führt Tempolimit
ein". RP ONLINE. Retrieved 14 April 2016.
^ Chris Wevers. "Tensions Rise in The Heartland of German Automotive
Industry". GTspirit. Retrieved 14 April 2016.
^ "bw-fairs.de: The automotive industry in Baden-Württemberg".
Retrieved 14 April 2016.
Autobahn speed limits: Germany's love of the fast lane". BBC News.
Retrieved 14 April 2016.
^ "Vorerst kein generelles Tempolimit auf Autobahnen (For Now, No
General Speed Limit on Autobahns)". Stuttgarter Zeitung. 2011-08-20.
Retrieved 2014-04-07. Die grün-rote Landesregierung plant kein
generelles Tempolimit auf den Autobahnen. Vorerst, denn grundsätzlich
unterstützt Verkehrsminister Winfried Hermann (Grüne) Initiativen
auf Bundesebene, die eine flächendeckende Geschwindigkeitsbegrenzung
auf Autobahnen in Deutschland vorsehen, wie aus seiner Antwort auf
eine Landtagsanfrage der FDP-Fraktion hervorgeht... Auf den 2078
Kilometer langen Autobahnen in
Baden-Württemberg bestehen nach
Angaben des Ministers auf 726 Kilometern Tempolimits. 65 Prozent seien
frei; auf 35 Prozent sind Geschwindigkeiten bis 120 Stundenkilometer
erlaubt. (The Red-Green ruling coalition plans no general speed limit
on autobahns, instead supporting the proposal of Transportation
Minister Winfried Hermann (Green Party) to impose a Federal limit,
said the government in response to a parliamentary question by the
Free Democratic Party... Of the 2,078 carriageway-kilometres of
Baden-Württemberg autobahns, 726 kilometres have speed limits. 65
percent are unrestricted; 35 percent have speed limits up to 120
^ Application by FDP/DVP and statement by Ministry for Traffic
regarding a general speed limit of 120 km/h on Autobahnen ...,
Parliament of Baden-Württemberg, 19 July 2011
^ "Vorerst kein generelles Tempolimit in Sachsen" by Diana Köhler,
Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk, 14 March 2014
^ "Hessen kippt Tempolimits". autobild.de. Retrieved 14 April
^ Volker Schmidt. "Verkehrstote in Hessen: Grüne fordern Tempolimit".
Retrieved 14 April 2016.
^ "Nachrichten aus Hessen". hessenschau.de. 6 May 2015. Retrieved 14
^ Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung GmbH (25 March 2010). "Auf 22
Streckenabschnitten: Hessen lockert Tempolimit auf Autobahnen".
FAZ.NET. Retrieved 14 April 2016.
^ "Verkehrsminister Rentsch hebt mehrere Tempolimits auf". Retrieved
14 April 2016.
^ "Vorerst kein Tempolimit auf Thüringer Autobahnen". Retrieved 14
^ "Speed Limits Coming to the
Autobahn in the Home State of Porsche,
Mercedes – News – Car and Driver". blog.caranddriver.com.
Retrieved 14 April 2016.
^ "Greens face rightward shift despite victory". DW.COM. Retrieved 14
^ "Baden-Württemberg: Grüner Verkehrsminister will Schweizer Raser
ausbremsen". Die Welt.
^ "Unfallstatistik: Auf Deutschlands Autobahnen wird es
gefährlicher(Crash Statistics: German autobahns more dangerous)".
Eine Sprecherin des Statistischen Bundesamts führt aber noch einen
weiteren, durchaus simpleren Grund auf: Durch die schlechte Witterung
im Frühjahr 2013 sei die frühe Motorradsaison fast komplett
ausgefallen, und damit habe es auch weniger Unfälle auf den Straßen
gegeben. (English: "A spokeswoman for the Federal Statistical Office
suggested a simple reason for the decline: bad weather in the spring
of 2013 almost eliminated the initial motorcycle-riding season, so
there were fewer accidents on the roads.")
^ a b c "Unfallentwicklung auf deutschen Straßen 2012 (Crashes on
German Roads 2012)" (PDF). Statistisches Bundesamt (Federal Statistics
Office). Statistisches Bundesamt. 10 July 2013. Retrieved 2013-09-23.
(Seite 19) Mit 29 Getöteten je 1 000 Unfälle mit Personenschaden ist
das Todesrisiko auf Landstraßen fünfmal höher als auf
Innerortsstraßen und auch höher als auf Autobahnen, auf denen 22
Personen je 1000 Unfälle starben. Ein Grund für das wesentlich
höhere Risiko auf Landstraßen und Autobahnen ist, dass hier
wesentlich schneller gefahren wird als auf Innerortsstraßen und
dadurch die Unfallschwere steigt.. (Seite 20) Hauptunfallursache auf
Autobahnen ist die „nicht angepasste Geschwindigkeit“. Im Jahr
2012 waren mehr als ein Drittel aller Unfälle mit Personenschaden auf
Autobahnen Unfälle, bei denen mindestens einem Beteiligten dieses
Fehlverhalten zur Last gelegt wurde. Bei insgesamt 6 587 sogenannten
Geschwindigkeitsunfällen kamen 179 Menschen zu Tode, das heißt
nahezu die Hälfte (46,3 %) aller Getöteten auf Autobahnen...
(Seite 20) Hierbei ist allerdings zu berücksichtigen, dass die
Unfallursache „nicht angepasste Geschwindigkeit“ häufig nicht
bedeutet, dass die zulässige Höchstgeschwindigkeit überschritten
worden ist. „Nicht angepasste Geschwindigkeit“ wird von der
Polizei bei einem Unfall auch dann als Ursache erfasst, wenn ein
Beteiligter für die vorliegenden Straßen- oder
Witterungsverhältnisse zu schnell gefahren ist.
^ "A 95: Polizei geschockt über "immenses Tempo" [Translation: A 95:
Police Shocked At High Speed]". Merkur Online [The Mercury online
version]. Aug 5, 2013. Retrieved 2013-09-29. den stellvertretenden
Kommandanten der Feuerwehr aus Hohenschäftlarn (Kreis München),
Daniel Buck... war mit seinen Kollegen einer der ersten an der
Unfallstelle, an der ein Porschefahrer (51) so schnell in den Toyota
einer 67-jährigen Weilheimerin bretterte, dass sich ihr Auto mehrmals
überschlug. Die Frau musste noch vor Ort reanimiert werden, starb
jedoch später im Krankenhaus. Die beiden Männer im
Porsche kamen mit
leichten Verletzungen davon... Auf Höhe des Dreiecks
er auf der linken Spur die Kontrolle über sein Auto. Er kam ins
Schleudern, schoss rechts über einen Grünstreifen und kam auf dem
Starnberg wieder auf die Fahrbahn. Dort rammte er die
67-jährige Weilheimerin in ihrem Toyota... Zeugen vor Ort schätzen,
dass der Sportwagen mit rund 300 Kilometer pro Stunde unterwegs war...
Ein Zeuge hatte seinen Tempomat auf 140 Stundenkilometer eingestellt
und war von dem Sportwagen überholt worden. „Er schätzt, der
Porsche war doppelt so schnell“, sagt Buck. Und: „...Schneller wie
160 Kilometer pro Stunde ist hier absolut unangemessen.“.
[Translation: deputy commander of the fire brigade from
Hohenschaeftlarn county (Munich), Daniel Buck...was one of the first
with his colleagues at the accident site where a
Porsche driver (age
51) bashed into the Toyota driven by a 67-year-old Weilheim in
Oberbayern resident, rolling her car over several times. The woman had
to be resuscitated on site, but died later in hospital. The two men in
Porsche escaped with minor injuries... At the peak of the
Starnberg interchange in the left lane he lost control of his car. He
went into a skid, shot right through a grass strip to ram the
67-year-old Weilheimer resident in her Toyota... Witnesses on site
estimated that the sports car was traveling about 300 kilometers per
hour... One witness had his cruise control set at 140 kilometers per
hour and was overtaken by the sports car. "He estimates the Porsche
was twice as fast," says Buck. And: "This is simply irresponsible;
even as fast as 160 kilometers per hour is absolutely inappropriate.
^ "International Traffic and Accident Data: Selected Risk Values for
the Year 2012" (PDF). Bundesanstalt für Straßenwesen (Federal
Highway Research Institute). Bundesanstalt für Straßenwesen.
December 2012. Retrieved 2015-11-08.
^ "SPEED Fact Sheet. German Autobahn: The Speed Limit Debate" (PDF).
European Transport Safety Council. Feb 2008. Retrieved 3 December
2010. In Germany, measurement to estimate mean or average speeds on
the motorways network was stopped in 1993...
^ "Straße und
Autobahn die Zeitschrift / Fachzeitschrift –
Wegebau Straßenplanung Straßenentwässerung Flüsterasphalt
Reparaturasphalt Geokunststoffe Straßenfertiger Straßenerhaltung
Straßenwalzen". Strasse-und-autobahn.de. Retrieved 2014-03-21.
^ a b Gunnar Gohlisch & Marion Malow (June 1999).
"Umweltauswirkungen von Geschwindigkeitsbeschränkungen [Environmental
Impacts of Speed Limits]" (PDF). Umweltbundesamt[Federal Environmental
Office]. Retrieved 2013-09-28. Auf Autobahnabschnittten, die eine
weitgehend freie Geschwindigkeitswahl zulassen, lag die mittlere
Pkw-Geschwindigkeit 1992 bei 132 km/h. Mehr als die Hälfte der
Pkw-Fahrer (51 %) überschreitet auf derartigen Abschnitten die
^ " Lärmaktionsplan 2008 der Stadt Gera". Gera. April 30, 2009.
1) (German:) „Die real gefahrene Geschwindigkeit auf
„freigegebenen“ Autobahnabschnitten liegt jedoch deutlich höher,
wie das in Abb. 54 dargestellte Beispiel von der A9 im Bereich Niemegk
zeigt. Die V85 liegt teilweise bei über 170 km/h. Im Schnitt fahren
deutlich über 60 % der Verkehrsteilnehmer schneller als 130
km/h. Mehr als 30 % der Verkehrsteilnehmer fahren im Schnitt
schneller als 150 km/h“
^ "StVO 2013 – nichtamtliches Inhaltsverzeichnis".
Gesetze-im-internet.de. Retrieved 2014-03-21.
^ von Stefan Jacobs. "Mit dem Videowagen unterwegs beim Blitzmarathon:
Der ganz normale Wahnsinn auf Berlins Straßen".
Der Tagesspiegel (in
German). Retrieved 2014-03-21.
^ "Autobahn-Polizei: Mit der Kamera gegen Raser". Kölner
Stadtanzeiger (in German). 2011-10-09. Retrieved 2014-03-21.
^ "StVO – Einzelnorm". Gesetze-im-internet.de. Retrieved
^ Geoff Ziezulewicz (May 4, 2006). "Fines go up as Germans get tough
on tailgaters". Stars and Stripes. Retrieved 2013-09-24. Drivers who
ride the bumper of the car in front of them can now expect a fine of
up to 375 euros (nearly $470), a rise of nearly 100 euros from the
previous maximum, said Sven Stadtrecher, a German police liaison
officer to the U.S. military in Heidelberg. Drivers can also lose
their license for up to three months. Before the new regulations went
into effect, a monthlong suspension was the maximum penalty, he said.
Fines will start at 35 euros for a speed of 80 kilometers an hour,
Stadtrecher said, adding that drivers must keep a distance in meters
that is equal to half their speed. For example, a driver going 100
km/h on the autobahn must keep a distance of at least 50 meters (165
feet). Fines and penalties will increase at higher speeds and will
also take into account how long the driver tailgates.
^ Melissa Eddy (October 28, 2003). "DaimlerChrysler car tester charged
in fatal tailgating crash on German autobahn". Jacksonville Times
(AP). Retrieved 2013-09-24. The 34-year-old German man faces charges
of manslaughter and endangering traffic as well as fleeing the scene
the July 14 accident [that killed a young mother and her 2-year-old
daughter]... According to the indictment, he was barreling down the
highway behind the wheel of a company-owned, 476-horsepower
Mercedes-Benz CL 600 coupe when he tried to overtake the woman on the
far left shoulder. The 21-year-old woman lost control of her car after
swerving sharply to the right to avoid the Mercedes, which prosecutors
said approached at up to 250 kilometers an hour (155 mph) to within a
few meters of her bumper. She spun across two lanes and smashed into a
bank of trees.
^ "StVO – Einzelnorm". Gesetze-im-internet.de. Retrieved
Vahrenkamp, Richard (2010). The German
Autobahn 1920–1945: Hafraba
Visions and Mega Projects. Josef Eul Verlag GmbH.
Zeller, Thomas (2010). Driving Germany: The Landscape of the German
Autobahn, 1930–1970. Berghahn Books.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bundesautobahn.
German website with descriptions of all autobahn routes and exits (in
English-language website that discusses all aspects of the autobahn
Geographic data related to
Autobahn at OpenStreetMap
Autobahn system in Germany
* original plan: number is used by another route now
Roads in Europe
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