Life in Germany
By: Lou Rothenstein
September 5, 2016
Sunday on the Munich-Stuttgart Autobahn. Reminds me of my days over there with a 64 Pontiac GTO 3 pack that gave fits to Mercedes drivers. I could keep up or pass until the gas ran out. I figured I got about 7-8 MPG driving fast over there. In those days only a few Mercedes models and Porsche’s were really fast. BMW’s were all small – 2 liters and Audi’s were in town economy cars, rarely seen on an autobahn.
If we used the same standards for mandatory driver training, licensing and highway regulations the Germans have, we could probably cut highway deaths by a big margin. One particular regulation they enforce with a vengeance is following too close. They take photos from overpasses and send you the fine in the mail.
One problem driving at no speed limit on an autobahn is that some are old design and the exits are sharp, requiring a real slow down when exiting. Have seen a few cars that didn’t quite make the turn off.
What was fun was driving the Berlin-Helmstedt Autobahn through the old Soviet Zone – about 105 miles from Checkpoint Alpha to Checkpoint Bravo. I drove it a couple of times in 55 minutes, causing a stir with the Soviets. Couldn’t drive it any faster as some sections were just too rough. Col Skowronek, Chief of US Military Liaison Mission drove it even faster in his 63 Corvette…
I have always thought that passing on the right left (no pun) one open for too many possible problems from other drivers. About the time I got a drivers license in California, passing on the right was a no-no.
Thank you John Wiseman for this submission.