Modern auto industry produces cars that can well exceed the magic barrier of 300 km/h. Many years of engineering experience resulted in automotive marvels that can be faster than our parents ever dreamed about. Of course cars that exceed 300 km/h are on top of the pricing shelf usually so they are not accessible to average Joe.
Fortunately we do not have to spend six figures to have really fast car. Speed has become very affordable item during last 10 years. Nearly every family sedan today can exceed 200 km/h and this is more than expensive super car could reach 30 years ago. Of course physical limits may not be reachable for family car due to strength of components car is made from. Electronic limiters are installed in engine to prevent car from reaching speed, at which, body panels may be stripped off, but even with electronic limiter modern cars are really fast.
Somehow capabilities of auto makers do not align well with realities created by legislation bodies. Our highways still have laughable 100 km/h speed limit that is incomparable to cars we drive. Our modern vehicles can be safely driven at cruise speed 140 km/h – 160 km/h (or 180 km/h if you happen to drive something better then Kia or Chevy). We drive fast cars slow because of legislative limitations were put in place long time ago when cars could become dangerous at speed higher then 100 km/h. Those antique limitations do not match advanced technologies implemented in cars.
All the time we hear lament from municipal government about danger of fast driving and how important is to limit the speed to make our roads safe. If we follow this argument then perfect speed limit would 0 km/h, then only causality would be drunk man that hits with his head into bumper on parking lot. Members of legislative crowd can not comprehend that we have lower number of causalities in highway accidents rather than than in a city traffic. It is not speed that kills. It is sudden come to stop that may kill us!
For some inexplicable reasons we want to buy and drive fast cars but then we vote for people who do everything to prevent us from driving fast. Government is continuously involved in war on speed that is fueled by clueless lobby such as year-round cyclists, soccer moms, dog walkers, tax-payer funded academics, etc…. All this bunch is not capable of understanding how important is motorization in our life and how significant role it plays in modern economy. If you want children to be safe on public roads teach them well how to behave on road and how to cross street rather then impose 40 km/h speed limits on near-school roads. If you want cyclists to be safe on road, teach them to bike close to road edge rather than middle of the road (apparently many cyclists think they are kings of the road). Instead of sustaining unrealistic speed limits why don’t we teach new drivers how to behave and drive with high speed? Why basic driving courses includes almost only driving in town and parallel parking? Why there is nearly no time spent on high speed roads? How come most new drives are clueless about behaving on high way?
Since the most famous place where no speed limit policy is successfully implemented is Germany then let’s compare interesting facts that about US and German statistics about driving on motorway:
- German laws make it illegal to pass a vehicle on the right side, which reduces the typical weaving between multiple lanes of traffic that is seen in other countries, especially the United States.
- It is more difficult to get a German driver’s license, so more drivers have more knowledge about what it takes to drive safely.
- The accident rate on the Autobahn is lower than many other interstate style highway systems, partly because of its better construction – it has a 40 year rating. The US highway system has a 20 year rating.
- The annual fatality rate on the Autobahn in 2.7 per billion kilometers traveled. The United States has a 4.5 fatality rate for the same distance
- Only about 20% of German motorways has no speed limit, the rest have 130 km/h limit
Potheads in municipal and provincial government should pay more attention to highways. Speed limits should be raised up instead of lowering down to ludicrous levels. Speed is good, speed is safe, speed helps us save time and money. Speed is an important factor in commuting that can not be neglected.