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Greens to limit autobahn speed and replace car tax with road toll

The Local · 7 May 2011, 13:50

Published: 07 May 2011 13:50 GMT+02:00

State premier designate Winfried Kretschmann told the weekly magazine WirtschaftsWoche there were three main reasons for a speed limit.

“I am in favour of a speed limit for three reasons. It reduces the number of road accident victims. It reduces traffic emissions. And it provides more fluid traffic conditions,” he said.

The road tax should apply to all roads, he said, and should be, “as individualised as possible, thus related to time, place, length of road use and type of car.” This should reduce traffic in total, he said.

Car producers, of which a number are based in Baden-Württemberg, will have to get in line with tougher environmental standards, he said.

“We will push for tougher framework conditions, concerning, for example, pollutant emissions. Experience shows that ambitious goals function like a goad for innovation.”

Car factories will have to become more environmentally friendly, he said, even though it might be more expensive.

“I expect that premium producers create energy- and resource-efficient product lines. That could be a little more expensive, as most of those who buy limousines can take it. Above all, Daimler and Porsche should see themselves as mobility companies in five years’ time – and no longer just as car factories.”

He said he would take up the offer from Porsche CEO Matthias Müller for a meeting as soon as possible, confident that they were talking the same language.

“Petrol-greedy luxury limousines are not the future,” he said. “We should no longer only export cars, but also a new idea of what a chic car is in the future. I believe that the companies think this way too.”

The Greens’ coalition with the Social Democratic Party in the state will present no danager to jobs in the car industry, assured the state Green party leader Chris Kühn on Saturday.

Speaking at the party’s special conference ahead of the signing of the coalition contract, he said it was clear that no-one wanted to reduce job number in the auto industry.

Wind farms would also form a part of the state’s future, said Kretschmann. “There will be completely new wind parks – large, modern facilities – above all in the Mittelgebirge, on the Schwäbisch Alb and in the Black Forest,” he said.

He said fears that the landscape could be covered in random wind turbines were unfounded, and that the farms would be concentrated in certain areas, although he admitted this would provoke some opposition.

Story continues below…

If people wanted to step away from nuclear power, they had to accept the alternatives, he said.

“A change of the industrial society changes the landscape; that is the price that we have to pay for progress. One cannot discard nuclear power, damn coal-generated electricity, want to maintain living standards and at the same time demand that the landscape should not change.”

DAPD/The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

14:47 May 7, 2011 by euskept
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
15:25 May 7, 2011 by Johnne
Speed limit, yes. But as for the rest, hands off cos I´m from an Oil exporting country ;-D
15:46 May 7, 2011 by euskept
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
17:14 May 7, 2011 by pepsionice
The clock is ticking...this Green achievement will be measured in weeks and months. They didn't mention any of this prior to the election and I would imagine that they will find no one very happy with the topics they chose.
17:45 May 7, 2011 by rajkshan
Good way to take Germany a step backward. Speed limit might bring down accidents. But not the traffice jams. For sure it will make travelling messy and take more time to go to work, etc. The oldies and the ladies will drive more slowly than normal and will create a mess for driving, which will in turn create more pollution. Okay there is no place for luxury cars - but what are all the politicians driving around in. For sure the people of BW will regret very soon.
17:57 May 7, 2011 by jmclewis
Tolls slow traffic down. make more air pollution, and you can hire workers for big salaries that can become green voters........ The real green is $$$$$$$$$$$. because if the greens cared about the environment they would not want this...... they need more people in there control and giving someone a green job work well.
18:13 May 7, 2011 by Englishted
Did n't say that before did they?

Never ever would I vote green.
18:53 May 7, 2011 by DrStrangelove
Toll roads are just silly. No significant advantages over fuel taxes but an extra bureaucracy, stalled traffic etc. This guy is a failure and will go down in flames in the next election,.
19:02 May 7, 2011 by nashville
Greens won't last through another election with decisions like these. Speed limits will slow things down to the point that there will be more pollution. And how are they going to know when and how often we use roads? Put a meter on our cars? Never!
22:12 May 7, 2011 by Landmine

Remember, the local is allowed to express their freedom of speech, you are not... It's their way of censoring in a democracy ;-)
00:11 May 8, 2011 by Nina Williams
I thought wind farms were not so environmentally friendly either; they kill a lot of bats, which are one of the main animals that help with pollination of crops.
01:43 May 8, 2011 by Schnuckel
"And it provides more fluid traffic conditions,¦quot; he said.

I don't think so. He needs to spend some "holiday" time in the USA, and revisit the failure of a decision this will be for Baden-Württemburg. When you limit cars to speeds closer to those of the logistics trucks, you are asking for a disaster. In the US, these "big rigs" are usually driving faster than the everyday commuter.

Nothing would make me feel more unsafe on a Baden-Würtemburg autobahn than driving through it with speed limits. Seriously, and German cars and citizens have an image for the fact the current system is successful, m-o-s-t of the time.
06:20 May 8, 2011 by JPaul
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
07:39 May 8, 2011 by Gabriel Grubb
GREENs = Communists in disguise! GREENs are communists by any other name! A vote for GREEN is a vote for communism! Communists pretending to be concerned about enviromental issues! Wolves in sheeps` clothing!
11:18 May 8, 2011 by vossy
Can they get all of this imposed before the next election?

They will need to spend probably hundreds of millions of euro's to get all the technology in place and what use is one state amongst all the others, in the UK we have a toll road that is about 40kms in length, price for a car to use this traffic busting road is about 8 euros whether you travel the whole length or just one junction - THE ROAD IS ALWAYS EMPTY and the company that runs it have AGAIN posted massive losses in profit, no one uses the road, people prefer to sit in the traffic jams on the other routes. Profits are down every year so they put prices up and even less people use the road.

Perhaps these greens should do some research before coming out with garbage like this.
14:37 May 8, 2011 by wood artist

Actually cars burn less fuel at slower speeds, so slowing traffic cuts the pollution they spew into the air. You can check the fuel usage information from any number of studies done when the US lowered freeway speeds years ago.

While I'm not in Germany often, and don't live in the affected area being discussed, the truth is that change will only happen when somebody forces the issue. US car makers continued to build what they said people wanted...and tried to convince people to buy them, long after it was evident times had changed. Only when they were going bankrupt and seeking federal loans did they admit they had no idea what they were doing, and had no plan on how to proceed.

If governments mandated fuel economy of 50 MPG, the car makers would scream...and then eventually start doing what they needed to do to get there. Giver $4 gas in the US, the people are ready for leadership. I suspect Germans are not all that different.

16:16 May 8, 2011 by jmclewis
@ wood artist

Cars use less fuel when maintain a reasonable steady speed not slowing down for several minutes to pay a toll. I know that people can grasp how much fuel cost and how far they need to drive and after owning a car for a week or two how much it will cost them at a given speed. It is their money, their decision. It should never become the job of government to make that decision and control their life. Let the consumer decide what and how they want to drive not the government...... if your way worked then trubants would rule the world. To get to 50 mpg car would need to get allot smaller and lighter........ allot of safety equipment would need to go such as anti lock brakes, air bags, stability control, power steering, sat nav, entertainment systems.

US car makers failed because the quality of there product is bad, the style is bad and the cost is high. US car makers believed marketing makes the company..... they though put some lipstick on the pig and everyone will want it , but after awhile people did not want to kiss that pig. Farmers discovered it was cheaper to buy a Toyota pickup once every six years than buy a GMC every two and it was built so much better.
16:52 May 8, 2011 by bernie1927
Typical: You make some sensible suggestions and you're being called a communist. Why don't we wake up? We just can't afford to waste fuel. And a speed limit on the autobahn is a sensible first step. Toll roads here in the US have fast lanes that let you go through them without stopping, so there is no problem. It is stressful to drive on the autobahn because of all the showoffs. When everybody maintains an even speed, driving becomes much more relaxed. The Germans, when it comes to their beloved cars, have not grown up.
18:22 May 8, 2011 by lordkorner
Bye bye green party...
19:08 May 8, 2011 by DrStrangelove

"We can't afford to waste fuel." Fun fact: fuel consumption is much lower in Europe, including Germany, than in NA. The main reason for this is much higher fuel taxes. With those, toll roads are just redundant. Worse, toll roads will kill people by moving traffic from the comparatively safe highways to less safe country roads.

Speed limits may merit consideration for reasons of traffic flow and safety, but they will have very little effect on overall fuel consumption.
20:10 May 8, 2011 by tallady
First they advocate a reduction in auto manufacturing ,and now this . Who votes for these out of step fools?
21:10 May 8, 2011 by DocEllis
I have read some of the comments and there are some mistakes but first:

I am in foavor of speed limits in Germany, but it would great if they actively enforced the existing ones. If you have every driven in Norway it is wonderful. The Speed limit is 90KM, and it seems as though there is a camera every 10KM. Everyone drives like a sane person. No anger or hostility. It is wonderful.

Next: Traffic jams happen because speed differentials in cars. If everyone drove the same speed and kept ditsances to the legal 2 seconds. Traffic jams would considerably fewer and further between.

Lastly, the fuel consumption in this country is obsene. Slower the better.

By the way, I drive about 60,000 KM per year in Germany. I know of what I speak.

Chill out and enjoy the view.

22:17 May 8, 2011 by Ichbindubist
Many Greens all over the world have replaced a belief in God with worship of the environment. They are free to make such a choice. However, not all of us are fooled by this. Many of us see it for what it truly is, the massing of power and authority over the people. A philosophy that says, "we know what's best for you." Most people welcome sane, pragmatic, realistic solutions to our problems. The ruination of our economies while the state dictates how we will live our lives, does not fit that standard.
04:15 May 9, 2011 by mike_1983
oh no! here we go!!!

this is the beginning of the demise of BW!

the sad thing is it will take years to fix up after these greens have butchered the state in so many ways!

introducing speed limits to the state that is the birth place of the car!!! lunacy!

these guys will be out of office before they know it..... if only they had mentioned this ridiculous policy before the election everyone may not have been so focused on atomkraft!!!
05:34 May 9, 2011 by neunElf
Bye, Bye freedom.

Hello authoritarianism.

Do you think they are just going to monitor what you are doing, and where and when you are doing it, only for the sake of road taxes? What an interesting database that will become, let the police and government create their own story of what you are doing.

The tyranny of technology!

BW is performing a great service for the rest of Germany, being the sacrificial lamb that will finally expose the anti-freedom agenda of this green cabal.
08:35 May 9, 2011 by lwexcel
Are there not more efficient ways to switch to renewable energy in BW? The wind farms are great in the north because the terrain and location, however with the vast vinyards and agricultural operations located in the south biogas plants would probably be much more efficient. (Just my opinion)
08:52 May 9, 2011 by justsayin
Nobody should have voted for them anyway. Communists hiding behind the Green Banner and that is not just coz of this proposition. In fact, they are! Besides, traffics in autobahn are caused not by speeding cars, they are caused by these road constructions that take forever to finish, and these Elephant Races. (if you don't know what the latter is, do drive in the Autobahn, and check how those LKWs drive.)

More taxes? Aren't we paying enough to own a car? Let alone drive it? People here should wake up and see this party for who and what they really are!
19:27 May 9, 2011 by EastPrussia
These Greens have no shame. The autobahn is supposed to have no speed limit, traffick would surely be greater, and taxing cars based on what kind it is? What obvious, unfair bias towards cars with higher-gas consumption. So they want to punish people because of their choice of car? Ridiculous. These Greens are Communists in "environmentalists" clothing. They are trying to regulate more than is necesary. Why are people giving them this control?
01:32 May 10, 2011 by krautrock
Finally Germany has found the new Fidel. This one is green and has no beard but is more or less the same the old one.

Bye bye democracy!
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