German church sets speed limit for motoring clergy members

By dpa | 10 November 2022

MAGDEBURG (Germany): Germany's Evangelical Church has agreed on a voluntary speed limit of 100kph on the highway for members of the clergy in response to concerns about climate change.

There are no speed limit on large stretches of Germany's Autobahn network and in some areas it is perfectly legal for drivers to press the pedal to the metal and drive at top speed.

Sections with limits are now becoming more common and an advisory speed limit of 130kph is in force throughout the network.

The protestant church's agreed slow-down came in a resolution at the church's four-day synod in the eastern city of Magdeburg in November.

It also stipulates that clergy and other staff should adhere to a speed limit of 80kph on country roads when driving in a church context.

Church president Anna-Nicole Heinrich said that the church had a role to play in climate protests, although it was clear that climate pressure groups such as Fridays for Future were at the forefront.

"We are no longer in the front line, but we can work away in the background. We share many of their aims," said the leading churchwoman.

The church also spoke up in favour of a blanket 120 km/h limit on all roads in Germany, where large sections of the Autobahn motorway are subject to no speed limit.

Politicians in car-friendly Germany have been debating for years whether drivers should step off the gas to reduce carbon emissions ahead of looming climate catastrophes.

Opponents of more speed limits say the fuel savings this would bring are negligible.