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German autobahn - speeding- risk free?

Posted on 2008-10-20
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Last Modified: 2010-04-21
A couple of days ago I was driving on an autobahn in Germany.  Speed limit 130 kmh and I had that on the speedometer and occasionally was overtaken by cars that must have been travelling at least 30-40 kmh faster.  Interestingly one car came past, not quite so fast - say 20-25 kmh, closely followed by a police car.  Said car promptly slowed to 130 kmh presumably the driver realised who was behind then the police car followed it for a couple of kilometers then didn't follow it as the 'normal' car left the motorway.

Now, I live in Switzerland and was then discussing this with my wife because (my understanding of matters that is) up to +5 kmh is usually no problem.  Accuracy of measuring devices.
6 - 20 kmh is a fixed fine
21 - 40 kmh is typically a fine based on a sliding scale
41+ kmh is quite likely goodbye driving licence for a period plus a hefty fine.   (Some months ago a Ferrari driver, repeat offender, high speed, in town - 150, 000 Swiss Francs - yes one hundred and fifty thousand fine according to the press).



So - what are the 'rules of thumb' concerning speeding on the autobahns in Germany or are the police in Germany not so bothered as long as it is not hazarding other drivers?


ps. Any disagreements with my 'rules of thumb' for Switzerland would be interesting to hear.  (Many years ago I did talk with someone that drove a lot for a living and they said the cruise control in their car was set for 138 kmh for the autobahn - it would cost them but at least they would still have a licence)
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Question by:AndyAinscow
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by:Guy Hengel [angelIII / a3]
ID: 22761333
you might have missed the indicator of the "few" places where indeed there is NO speed limit on the german autobahn.
and basically because of that, the police is not that strict on 130km/h vs 160km/h. they are looking much more HOW you drive than at what speed (on the autobahn, of course). so, if you drive with 160 closely behind another one with 160km/h, it will matter...
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by:AndyAinscow
ID: 22761758
Thanks,  Sort of what I was suspecting about not being too much on the quantity rather concentrating on the quality.

I have heard about the 'no speed limit' but I have always thought it was just a 'boy racers wet dream'.  Do they really exist?  
I was travelling from Singen towards Konstanz - does that help you?  (I am tempted to ask if there is a list of these places but that could be open to abuse).

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Guy Hengel [angelIII / a3] earned 460 total points
ID: 22761886
actually, I have been reading up a bit, and have to correct myself.
in germany, the 130 is a "maximum recommended speed", which "should" not be exceeded.
which makes it quite flexible ....
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by:AndyAinscow
ID: 22764826
Wow - Lawyer feeding time !!!

If you don't mind I'll leave this for a few days in case someone else mentions something interesting and relevant.
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by:AndyAinscow
ID: 22764877
Oh, a thought.  Does that actually mean no fix mounted speeding cameras on the autobahns ?   (There are quite a few here in Switzerland - not always located in places that makes one think safety is reason for them).
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by:Guy Hengel [angelIII / a3]
ID: 22764956
>Does that actually mean no fix mounted speeding cameras on the autobahns ?
there are many, actually. because even if it's not a "enforced" limit everywhere, does not mean that on the other places the control does not exist, on the contrary.
they also have cars and mobile stations on the road all the time.
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by:AndyAinscow
ID: 22764999
OK, thanks.  Sounds odd that it is apparently not mandatory speed limit but still have cameras.  (Maybe not set to 130 but to some higher value ?  - speculation, I am not expecting you to respond)
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by:rid
rid earned 20 total points
ID: 22768646
I suppose the cameras can be used in the aftermath of a severe accident, to see if the involved parties were caught driving at excessive speed before the incident..
/RID
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by:RDAdams
RDAdams earned 20 total points
ID: 22812939
On the autobahn the speed limit is not as important as how you drive....ie no passing on the wrong side.  If you are travelling faster than the vehicle in front of you you must always pass on the left.  Slower vehicles should move over to the right as you approach them if they are in the "fast" lane.
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by:AndyAinscow
ID: 31507939
Thanks guys.
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