30 Oct 2007.
For immediate release.

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Merkel Rejects Autobahn Speed Limits: Safety Not Even Mentioned
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has rejected her party's call for a 130km/h (80mph) speed limit on unrestricted autobahns in order to reduce CO2 emissions. Nobody, not even those asking for the limit, were claiming it was justified on safety grounds. Clearly speed is not a major factor in accidents on motorways, including German autobahns.
 
Merkel correctly pointed out that traffic jams produce at least as much CO2 as vehicles travelling at high speeds. Indeed, a vehicle travelling in congested traffic at 5mph produces about double the CO2 emissions of a vehicle travelling at 80mph.
 
ABD spokesman Nigel Humphries said,
"The fatality rates on unrestricted German autobahns were similar to those on 55mph restricted US freeways, and most the of UK's fatal motorway accidents involve HGVs that are limited to 56mph. The speed limit on UK motorways could be raised to at least 85mph without compromising safety or CO2 emissions. People should be free to choose their own emissions/time balance like they are free to decide how warm their house is. Any government serious about reducing emissions should remove the deliberate congestion causing measures that blight our towns and cities."

Meanwhile, Chief Constable Meredydd Hughes, who is head of ACPO (Association of Chief Police Officers) road policing policy, has been caught speeding for the third time. On this occasion he is alleged to have been travelling at 90mph in a 60mph limit, which leaves him facing a ban and a maximum £1000 fine if convicted. Mr Hughes seems unconcerned about speed limits or emissions!

 

 
 
NOTES FOR EDITORS
 
Merkel resists speed limit push:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/7067305.stm
 
Graph of CO2 emissions and vehicle speeds - Page 16 of Road Users' Alliance 'Road File' 2006/7:
http://www.rua.org.uk/roadfile06.pdf
 
Police chief faces speeding case:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/7069289.stm
 

 
 
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