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  (Source: Wallpaper Den)
Bye bye autobahn

Europe has been known as the birthplace of some of the world's fastest cars with luxury-minded speed-demons from Italian brands like Volkswagen AG's (ETR:VOW) Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A., German brands like Daimler AG's (ETR:DAI) Mercedes-Benz, or the UK's Bentley Motor Group Ltd. (also a Volkswagen property).  Indeed, perhaps no highway system is as famous as Germany's autobahns, where there is no enforced speed limit.

But all of that could soon be changing.

The European Union's Mobility and Transport Department -- a branch of the EU's market regulatory body, the European Commission (EC) -- is preparing an extreme proposal to counter auto fatalities in the region.  UK newspaper Telegraphcites the office of Patrick McLoughlin, the UK's Transport Secretary as warning of the controversial proposal.

EU speeding
The EU is looking to pull the plug on drivers travelling over 70 mph. [Image Source: Porsche]

Reportedly the EC approached Mr. McLoughlin with a pending proposal that sought to use an Intelligent Speed Adaptation (ISA) scheme to prevent any new vehicles sold in the EU from going over 70 miles per hour.  The EC officials argued that the proposal was necessary to curb the over 30,000 drivers who die each year on Europe's streets.

But Mr. McLoughlin blasted the proposal; with a "government source" close his office commenting:

This has Big Brother written all over it and is exactly the sort of thing that gets people's backs up about Brussels.  The Commission wanted [Mr. McLoughin's] views ahead of plans to publish the proposals this autumn. He made it very clear what those views were.

An EC spokesperson confirmed that talks about new speed regulation are pending, remarking:

There is a currently consultation focusing on speed-limiting technology already fitted to HGVs and buses.  Taking account of the results, the Commission will publish in the autumn a document by its technical experts which will no doubt refer to ISA among many other things

Aside from the more basic free market and cost issues, another problem with the proposal arguably is the fact the EU member states vary greatly in traffic fatalities.  Out of Britain's thirty eight million motorists, there are only 1,754 fatalities in 2012 -- a 0.0046 percent death rate.  By contrast Germany's forty-five million motorists in 2012 got in 3,657 fatalities -- a 0.0081 percent death rate (almost twice as high).

This controversy may be laid to rest -- or further ignited -- when self-driving (autonomous or semi-autonomous) cars hit the market.  Google, Inc. (GOOG), General Motors Comp. (GM), and Nissan Motor Comp., Ltd. (TYO:7201) are among the companies working to bring self-driving car technology to the market.

Source: Telegraph

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RE: More accidents to come
By Omega215D on 9/3/2013 11:53:07 PM , Rating: 2
My favorite is the idiot who gets too scared to get up to speed on the on-ramp and forces everyone behind to slow down and a smooth merge cannot be done by anyone.

Then there's the idiots who maintain below limit in all lanes and end up almost side to side with each other creating a barrier preventing motorists from passing.

Also, I wonder how this will play out for those who like to do track days with their cars. I never push my motorcycle beyond 85 mph but on the track it exceeds 140 mph.

RE: More accidents to come
By ritualm on 9/4/2013 4:11:20 PM , Rating: 2
Trucks in Germany can go faster on highways, however their center of gravity is higher relative to smaller cars and SUVs, so an accident involving one of these at 150mph will get ugly in a hurry.
Then there's the idiots who maintain below limit in all lanes and end up almost side to side with each other creating a barrier preventing motorists from passing.

I like playing this game in city roads. Many of the drivers who routinely drive at highway speeds on local roads are hugely impatient types, and those people are actually making the roads more dangerous for the rest of us. This is before we start including distractions i.e. alcohol, texting, etc.

On highways I generally go at limit on slower lanes, but 10-20% above limit on others (my car can't go faster than 100mph without problems, unfortunately). No higher. I value my safety and getting to the destination in one piece more than potentially ending up in a coffin, thanks.

Imposing an universal speed limit like that is awful, and the only reason that is even being raised is the nanny state mentality - speed cameras on roads to increase government revenues.

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