Recently we were on one of the approximately 3,350 kilometers long German highway-like roads On the way. This is so rare that we asked ourselves what the actual limit is: we would have guessed 100 km/h. After all, the yellow signage suggests a country road if there weren’t two lanes in each direction. We were then amazed at the permitted maximum speed:
Speed limit on “yellow highways” or two-lane federal roads?
On this so-called highway-like roads out of town actually prevails no speed limit, when there are two lanes for each direction. It doesn’t even matter whether the two strips for each direction are structurally separate or not! This is what the road traffic regulations (StVO) say in §3 paragraph 3, sentence 2:
“This Speed limits do not apply on motorways (sign 330.1) and other roads with one-way lanes separated by medians or other structures. she nor shall it apply to roads which have at least two lanes for each direction marked by lane boundaries (sign 295) or by guidelines (sign 340).”
If you are not crazy, however, you drive on these mostly much poorer developed and curvy overland roads rather than the recommended recommended speed of 130 km/h instead of 280 km/h. However, highway-like roads are often clearly marked with speed limits anyway, often 120 km/h.
Why are there these highway-like streets?
Often there seems to be no difference to normal blue signposted motorways. Highway-like roads exist because:
- The construction standard is well below that of a motorway (e.g. tight curves, steep uphill and downhill gradients)
- The road is not operated by the federal government but regionally
- The road is a continuation of a national motorway and only serves subordinate purposes at the end
Photo: Attorney Florian Sackmann
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