Energy crisis: speed limit on motorways: SPD-Left calls for the FDP to end the blockade
Berlin In view of the worsening energy crisis, the co-leader of the SPD-Left, Sebastian Roloff, has called on the FDP to give up their blocking stance on speed limits on motorways.
There are “very good arguments” for a speed limit of 130 kilometers per hour on motorways, because it saves energy “in a very simple way”, the member of the Bundestag told the Handelsblatt. Surveys also showed that the measure was accepted by the population. “The FDP should now drop the ideological blockade and think about the security of supply in the country.”
The Greens traffic expert Stefan Gelbhaar made a similar statement. “A speed limit is objectively necessary, regardless of party lines,” said Gelbhaar the Handelsblatt. The arguments against a speed limit had recently been exhausted by the lack of traffic signs, when no new signs were needed. Federal Transport Minister Volker Wissing (FDP) had rejected a speed limit, among other things, because of the lack of signs.
A general speed limit has been the subject of bitter arguments for years. As a result of the Ukraine war, it has now come back into focus – as a possible contribution to saving energy. In the traffic light coalition, the FDP is opposed to such a limit, which it had already rejected in the coalition negotiations. Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) recently said: “This government has not agreed on that, and that’s why it’s not happening.”
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Baden-Württemberg’s Prime Minister Winfried Kretschmann recently called for a speed limit because of the high cost of fuel. “That would have an immediate effect, that’s an immediate saving,” said the Green politician at a discussion event in the “Süddeutsche Zeitung”. “To jump over the shadows, at least for two years, would be worth a discussion,” he said to the coalition partner FDP in the federal government.
Greens welcome the CDU’s rethinking of the speed limit and call for next steps
Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) contradicted Kretschmann at the “SZ” event: “The speed limit does not generate any electricity at all.” That is not a solution for the impending risks in the coming winter. He again spoke out in favor of longer operating times for nuclear power plants, which are actually supposed to be shut down at the end of the year.
>> Read also: Driving bans, speed limits, expansion of public transport – politicians are discussing these energy-saving measures
Unlike the CSU, the CDU is now open to a temporary speed limit on motorways due to the current situation. Party deputy Andreas Jung called for a “power pack for energy security and climate protection” in the “Bild” newspaper. Everything that helps over the winter and saves CO2 must go in without any bans on thinking: “Energy saving pact, nuclear energy, biomass ramp-up and temporary speed limit.”
The chairman of the climate protection committee, Thomas Gebhart (CDU), also told the newspaper: “We cannot afford to reject certain options from the outset for party political reasons. For me, that also means: a temporary speed limit of 130 on motorways.”
The Green politician, Gelbhaar, welcomed this openness. Now the CDU must take the next step, he emphasized. The Union could, for example, with a state initiative in the Bundesrat or an application in the Bundestag “prove that the initiative is meant seriously”.
The Federal Environment Agency calculates the savings effects of a speed limit
SPD politician Roloff said he did not trust that the CDU politicians’ proposal was meant seriously. The Union is constantly throwing something new into the ring and then sees it differently again a short time later. “We remember the calls for a gas boycott just a few weeks ago,” Roloff said.
For example, the CDU foreign politician Norbert Röttgen spoke out in favor of stopping gas and oil imports from Russia. The CDU Vice Karin Prien supported the demand. CSU boss Söder was skeptical and explained: “Emotionally there is much to be said for cutting everything that is possible.” But then clarification about a replacement is needed. “Otherwise it can still be very cold and also very expensive.”
Three months ago, the Federal Environment Agency (UBA) proposed various measures to be significantly more economical with energy. This also included driving less and, above all, more slowly.
The authorities calculated that if motorists reduced their speed to a maximum of 100 kilometers per hour on freeways and 80 kilometers per hour on roads out of town, that would save around 2.1 billion liters of fossil fuel. After all, this immediately saves around 3.8 percent of the fuel consumed in the transport sector.
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