If it takes screwing around with the autobahn to bring the German people to their senses, so be it. NYT:
It seemed like a no-brainer: Lower Germany’s embarrassingly high carbon emissions at no cost, and save some lives in the process.
But when a government-appointed commission in January dared to float the idea of a speed limit on the autobahn, the country’s storied highway network, it almost caused rioting.
Irate drivers took to the airwaves. Union leaders menacingly put on their yellow vests, hinting at street protests. And the far-right opposition used the opportunity to rage against the “stranglehold” of the state.
A highway speed limit was “contrary to every common sense,” the transport minister, Andreas Scheuer, swiftly declared, contradicting his own experts.
And that was that.
Except you know this won't be the end of it because rest assured, there are plenty of lawmakers in Germany who, like the NYT, think this should be a "no-brainer." The paper goes on to compare Germans' love for the autobahn to America's love for guns and Japan's love for whaling.
Off the autobahn, Germany remains rife with rules. Some local authorities even dictate the color of sun umbrellas.
“Germany is terribly regulated, for reasons which have to do with the past, with a fear of uncertainty, a fear of being overwhelmed,” Mr. Kornblum [John C. Kornblum, a former United States ambassador to Germany] said. “But then people look for their little spaces of freedom and the autobahn is one of them.”
Maybe they're beginning to understand that statism ain't all it's cracked up to be.
And don't miss this little gem buried at the end:
And speeding isn’t the only freedom the autobahn offers.
Driving naked in Germany is legal, too. But if you get out of the car nude, you face a $45 fine.
You've been warned.