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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: Precident
By inperfectdarkness on 9/4/2013 3:12:00 AM , Rating: -1
I can get my 105hp Kia to 155+ KPH easily--and I still get passed like I'm idling. I don't think it's a problem. European drivers tend to be better than their American counterparts at driving--if only because the roads over here are significantly more challenging. (I maintain that if you can drive a semi over here, you can drive anything anywhere).

Honestly, there's a lot of roads that have a 120KPH limit as it is--which is virtually the same as 70MPH limit anyways. That said, being able to drive 30KPH+ faster means that a road trip goes by MUCH faster. And the only places where such speeds are allowed are extremely limited access, and have VERY strict rules about breakdowns, lane-hogging, etc.

I'm calling BS on this one.


RE: Precident
By silverblue on 9/4/2013 3:33:31 AM , Rating: 3
He said MPH.


RE: Precident
By FITCamaro on 9/4/2013 7:58:27 AM , Rating: 2
120 kph is only 75 mph. Which is the speed most Americans go on interstates. Texas has roads with an 85 mph speed limit (God bless Texas) which is 136 kph.

I do 75 on the freeway and yes am passed quite frequently. Most cops don't care if you're going under 10 over on interstates.


RE: Precident
By inperfectdarkness on 9/4/2013 8:48:38 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed. I'm still a US citizen, so I can vividly recall driving through most of the states east of the Mississippi. My experience has been that I feel safer driving in europe--especially at "highway speeds". I'm not sure why my comment got down-rated. I'm NOT the only person who will tell you that. Europe does not have soccer-moms doing 80KPH in the left-lane on the autobahn. It's illegal, it's dangerous, and it's just not done. Russia might be the lone exception.

Europe actually has even less BS with speed-traps on the autobahns (cops hiding behind trees? unheard of). At virtually any given speed, I feel safer on European roads than on American ones. Therefore I don't see the point to ramrodding through a speed-limit.

However, it may well be the nanny-state mentality that plagues most of Europe has finally gone off the deep end...


RE: Precident
By FITCamaro on 9/4/2013 9:48:09 AM , Rating: 2
Dunno where you live but in Florida and South Carolina the soccer moms are the craziest ones that drive the worst.


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