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Transport minister suggests autobahn ban on trucks passing

DDP/The Local · 9 Apr 2010, 11:47

Published: 09 Apr 2010 11:47 GMT+02:00

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The minister told daily Rheinische Post that he had recently been “irritated by overtaking lasting for more than five kilometres” on a trip between Chiemgau and Bonn.

A ban on truck passing could clear up traffic, though the decision lies with individual German states, he told the paper.

In addition to the passing ban, Ramsauer, a member of the conservative Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU), said he hoped to reduce road resurfacing times down from 90 to 60 days for a five-kilometre stretch of road.

Traffic snarls cost Germany up to €100 billion each year, the paper reported.

And though in the past Ramsauer has hinted that his ministry might favour road tolls for passenger cars, or a PKW-Maut, to finance road infrastructure, the minister insisted this was not imminent.

“I won’t impose any limit to ideas on this,” he told the paper. “But what’s clear is that no PKW-Maut is on the agenda.”

Instead, private roadway financing could be a way forward, he added.

Story continues below…

Presently the road charge for the autobahn is imposed only on goods vehicles such as trucks, which is called the LKW-Maut. Trucks pay a road charge in Germany based on the distance driven, the size of the vehicle and its carbon emission rating.

The toll was introduced in 2005, partly as a way of charging foreign freight vehicles for using German motorways. The average truck pays about 15 cents per kilometre and most tolling is done automatically.

DDP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

13:25 April 9, 2010 by twisted
YES !!!! And include the Niederlanders pulling their damn Wohnwagens. They are another major traffic hinderence.

Best thing though would to require trucks transiting Germany to go via train. That alone would take a lot of trucks off the road and keep the roads from deteriorating so quickly.
14:28 April 9, 2010 by berlinski
And take the Germans with their Wohnwagens off the road in all other European countries. That would make a lot of people very happy.
15:08 April 9, 2010 by Fatz Lewinski
Why the half measures? Take everyone's caravans off all roads and put all the trucks on trains.

I've never understood why people go on holiday in caravans? I think there must be a condition opposite to claustrophobia where people enjoy being confined to small spaces.

Personally, I'm all for the PKW Maut. Works well in other countries so why not in Germany?
16:35 April 9, 2010 by Bushdiver
Fatz Lewinski........You sound like a guy with more money than brains. I say getrid ov everything and go back to using horses. No traffic jams and no costes needed to repair the highways.
17:23 April 9, 2010 by dbert4
Bushdiver ........Yeah great idea! If Fatz Lewinski has, "more money than brains" than you clearly have even less, probably of both.
17:57 April 9, 2010 by Heinrich der Zweite
You guys are great! Write some more. It's friday, I'm loving this.
18:42 April 9, 2010 by twisted
Back to horses? Rather than being asphyxiated with exhaust fumes, we'd be buried in horse-sh-t. Which is better???
19:26 April 9, 2010 by koolbreeze
What, no more Elephant racing? lmao
20:53 April 9, 2010 by cobalisk
Toll roads for passengers are NOT a good idea. Nothing like adding a privilege tax for the necessity of driving. Private financing for roads is also a terrible idea, roads are public and need to remain in the public sphere.

Yes, elephant racing is counterproductive on the autobahn it acts as an artificial limiter. An easier solution would be to allow trucks to pass at faster rates than present. Instead of a max cap of 90 trucks could be allowed 100 in the event of passing. This would do much to reduce the delays caused by trucks creeping past each other.

I suspect Ramsauer is just venting though, I seriously doubt any of these ideas of his will see the light of day outside of this article.
22:26 April 9, 2010 by BR549
Quit complaining and offer SOLUTIONS! I suggest trucks be allowed to travel at much faster speeds with more horsepower (like the trucks in the USA) or enforce them to drive on the autobahns only during evening and ealy morning hours. Lastly, re-engineer Autobahns to handle modern traffic requirements instead of traffic conditions from the late 50's and early 60's. In cities, allow right turns on red lamps and create left turn lanes.
23:04 April 9, 2010 by dbert4
@BR549 - Yeah right just what Germany needs, be more like America! Why not distribute guns, let drivers shoot it out with the truckers and the win takes all?

Oh yeah, and cancel the "Fahrschule" requirement, give out licenses at 16, once German drivers are as stupid as Americans AND armed the fun can really begin. Good thinking!
23:08 April 9, 2010 by The-ex-pat
Just to show how much politicians are in touch with the real world. It is already illegal for trucks to overtake each other. They have to remain 100 meters from the truck/vehicle in front of them and in order to overtake they have to have a speed difference of 15kph as they are all governed at to a maximum speed and all driving with the pedal mashed into the carpet that speed can never be attained. So if the police did there job correctly in the first place we would not have these problems.
23:16 April 9, 2010 by dbert4
@The-ex-pat - The quality of the translations of these German news items into English generally sucks. The point that Herr Ramsauer made was to ban ALL passing on Autobahns with only 2 lanes of travel. Currently passing is allow within guidelines that are sometimes not followed, epsecially by foreign drivers.
00:27 April 10, 2010 by BR549
@dbert4 - How do you possibly associate my suggestions with guns,shoot-outs and minimizing driver license requirements? Nothing suggested was "Pro American", so stick it up your arse.
03:50 April 10, 2010 by cklb
@BR549: I never really understood why a right turn is not allowed at red traffic lights in germany. copying the rule from US sounds like a grea idea. general "gruenpfeilregelung" :-)
04:44 April 10, 2010 by Johnny Kutz
Is there another country that allows right turn on red? Maybe use that next time so fewer people get PO, like when using the US as an example.

Anyway, people in the US can turn right on red in most areas of the US, but not all. That is of course if they noticed the red light or stop sign to begin with.

I feel like I am running the gauntlet when I drive in the US as most drivers do not stop for reds, lights or signs no mater what direction they are driving; much like Cairo....
06:28 April 10, 2010 by Ez4moi
Turning right on red presents no problems in the USA. I have never read or heard anyone complain of this being a problem. Germans appear to be heavily taxed. Why not widen the highways in order to accomodate more traffic? Why is it that the answer seems to be to increase taxes or operate trucks at odd hours? The article and comments strike me generally as a society seeking to control the situation rather than increasing the supply of driving lanes in order to overcome the problem. In other words, why do Germans put up with a control solution which seeks to alter behavior thereby diminishing demand upon the highways rather than increasing the supply of lanes to meet the obvious demand? Germans have cars and trucks. They should demand adequate highways upon which to drive them.
09:53 April 10, 2010 by snorge

You gotta be quite the fool... What BR549 suggested are things that USA and many other countries have enacted to reduce pollution and traffic. You see it as making Germany more like America? The gun comment... What does that have to do with reducing traffic? Helloooo......? Anyone home up there?

You know, Germans as a whole could use a few lessons in driving themselves. No one is perfect, but it's only here in Germany that the mirrors in your cars are just for decoration.
11:36 April 10, 2010 by The-ex-pat
Currently passing is allow within guidelines that are sometimes not followed, especially by foreign drivers.

dbert4, they are not guide lines, they are laws. And as for "sometimes not followed", when did you last drive on the Autobahn!!
16:18 April 10, 2010 by dbert4
@BR549 - Drivers in Germany , AS A RULE don't pull out in front of each other. In America they ALL pull out in front of each other. Some lame mentality that if one can get fully into traffic before being rear-ended that it's the other guys fault. Like wise, Germans yield the 'right of way. Amis are too friggin stupid to know what 'right of way" is. Which is why EVERY interestion in Amiland ia a full stop, no such thing is a yield sign because drivers don't know what one means.

@Ez4moi - Yes, controling the problem is accurate, does expanding the problem make any sense to onr other than you.

@snorge - you're too much of a tool to deserve a reply.
04:02 April 11, 2010 by Ez4moi
@dbert4-If the traffic is too heavy, there are only two solutions. One is statist in seeking to control individual liberty. This may take the form of making vehicles extremely expensive to operate thereby reducing the numbers or legislating driving hours for vehicle types. The other is to expand supply of in this case driving lanes to meet the demand. The second accomodates individual liberty. It makes perfect sense to me that individual freedoms trump statist control of people every time.
10:54 April 11, 2010 by dbert4
@Ez4moi -Have you ever driven on a Germany autobahn? Have you ever even been to Europe? Your parroting of US style, "individual liberty" BS leads me to believe not.

IF you had ever been to Europe, you would know that you are certainly at LIBERTY to drive on the autobahns the entire day if you'd like. But you would also know that the truck traffic in Europe has, as in the US increased dramatically in recent years.

Since you don't live in Europe, we¦#39;ll put this in a US context so that you can better relate.

The continual orgy of highway building that occurs in the States hasn't improved the traffic situation or doesn't for long. The costs of that building are borne mostly by the taxpayers, not the corporate interests whose movement of goods cause the problem.

One can take that lame corporate "biatch boy" position that the free movement of goods benefits the "consumer", but that isn't really true. By providing movement for less than that movement truly costs, simply distorts the system.

If the corporate world had to pay the TRUE cost of moving their cheap, poisonous Chinese schit to market, that cheap, poisonous Chinese schit wouldn't be cheaper than domestically produced things.

So there you have it, public funding of your PERCEIVED ¦quot;individual liberty" is a subsidy to the business world and contributes to your unemployment.

Are you still with me, or does my utilization of high concept challenge the limits of your US standard education to the point that I've lost you?
11:12 April 11, 2010 by michael4096
Re: right turn on red lights

Any rule like that must be made within the general rules for other users of the same space. Particularly, pedestrians. In germany, where it is safe for cars to turn right on red, there is an explicit sign - it's that little green arrow thingy pointing right. No sign - not safe. Sign - ok, but pedestrians still have right of way as always when turning left and right in a vehicle
13:30 April 11, 2010 by BR549

You need to do something about that bottled-up anger. If a little thing like talking about traffic spins you up like this, I HOPE you aren't driving on the Autobahn...road rage just waiting to happen. Cool down, it's only life.
14:55 April 11, 2010 by dbert4
@BR549 - I could reply, "so stick it up your arse" but that expression has become rather over used, or?
09:02 April 12, 2010 by lordkorner
Wow,I feel I'm experiencing road rage yet I'm sitting in the comfort of my own home.
09:45 April 12, 2010 by moistvelvet
1, Turning right at red is allowed in Germany when there is a sign jsut as "michael4096" says, I have seen them but not many.

2, What I find interesting about this article is that because a politician has a frustraiting experience on the Autobahn he then decides to use his position of power to make a change in the law, whether he actually can is irrelevant, but the motive for doing it does raise a question in whose interest does this politician work for? Now presumably being fairly well off would Ramsauer be so concerned about the rising cost of fuel?
11:50 April 12, 2010 by Tobsen
"The other is to expand supply of in this case driving lanes to meet the demand. The second accomodates individual liberty. It makes perfect sense to me that individual freedoms trump statist control of people every time."

Generally, I would agree. But do you have any idea of how expensive it is to build an Autobahn? About € 5 million per kilometer!!!
21:35 April 12, 2010 by wxman
This is a terrific idea; one that should be implemented in the US. There is nothing more maddening than to be zipping along nicely in the passing lane. Then you come upon 5 or 6 trucks in the right lane, and the last one zips in front of you to pass the others. AT 3 MPH! AAAAARRRRRGGGGGHHHHH!!!! You're there behind him for an eternity, along with 20 or so fellow travelers who accumulate behind you.
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