Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Mixed Messages on the Motorway

Ah, the world-renown Autobahn. Driving at speeds over 150 mph right next to semis driving 50 mph is quite a rush, and should be on anyone’s to do list when visiting Germany. It’s just a shame the Dutch don’t learn to speed up or get out of the way.

But the lack of a speed limit doesn’t really fit to the German mentality for two reasons.
  • It is quite dangerous. Germans love insurance against unfortunate things from happening to them. Physics says going at an unlimited speed may turn out bad.
  • It is a waste of gas. As you go faster your wind-resistance gets much higher and you waste fuel. Germans are generally very ecologically minded, so you would think that a country that makes you pay a deposit for just about any container that could possibly be recycled
and makes you sort your trash three ways would set speed limits on the Autobahn.  

So what does Germany do instead? They spend money to put up signs to tell you there is no speed limit like this:
[No Limit]

 So you can now drive as fast as you want, but you may soon start noticing signs like this:
That’s the sign telling you that you sure as hell better slow down because if you don't they'll take your photo and you will receive a ticket delivered to your home mailing address for maybe 120 €. If you are feeling like a nice person in this rented car of yours, you will follow that suggestion for the safety of the rest of people on the road and to do your small part for the environment and wallet. But then the weirdest thing Germany does is put up advertising on giant billboards to tell you just how uncool you are if you drive fast.

The worst part of this whole thing aside from being a complete waste of money is having to constantly explain to American colleagues traveling in Germany that the sign is not about what they think it is about.
I guess Daimler, Porsche, VW, BMW, Bosch, and Conti are happy just the way things are.

No comments:

Post a Comment