Autobahn Speed Limits? Voting With Lead Feet 名聞全球的德國高速公路要限速? 大腳油門反對

 

精英翻譯社 自: https://paper.udn.com/udnpaper/POH0067/337656/web/

 

文/Katrin Bennhold

譯/張江寧

 

It seemed like a no-brainer: Lower Germany’s embarrassingly high carbon emissions at no cost, and save some lives in the process.

這聽起來是個不費腦筋的好主意:不須付出成本,便減低德國高得使人羞愧的碳排放量,還可以順道拯救人命。

 

But when a government-appointed commission in January dared to float the idea of a speed limit on the autobahn, the country’s storied highway network, it almost caused rioting.

Irate drivers took to the airwaves. Union leaders menacingly put on their yellow vests, hinting at street protests. And the far-right opposition used the opportunity to rage against the “stranglehold” of the state.

然而,當政府指派的委員會元月大膽提出在德國名聞全球的高速公路上設速限的構想時,卻幾乎引發暴動。

暴怒的開車族在廣播裡抱怨,工會領袖意帶威脅地穿上黃背心,暗示將上街抗議。極右派反對黨趁機對國家的「箝制」大事撻伐。

 

A highway speed limit was “contrary to every common sense,” the transport minister, Andreas Scheuer, swiftly declared, contradicting his own experts.And that was that.

德國運輸部長安德烈・舒爾很快就宣布,給高速公路設速限「完全違反常情」,立場和自己的專家團隊相牴觸。此事就此打消。

 

As far as quasi-religious national obsessions go for large portions of a country’s population, the German aversion to speed limits on the autobahn is up there with gun control in America, whaling in Japan and sovereignty in Britain.

就一國高比例人口近乎宗教信仰式的執念而言,德國人對高速公路限速的反感之深,一如美國人對於槍枝管制,日本人對於捕鯨,和英國人對於主權。

 

With few exceptions, like Afghanistan and the Isle of Man, there are highway speed limits essentially everywhere else in the world.

世界上除了阿富汗和英國曼島等極少數例外,其他地方的公路基本上都有速限。

 

But this is Germany, the self-declared “auto nation,” where Carl Benz built the first automobile and where cars are not only the proudest export item but also a symbol of national identity.

但這可是自詡為「汽車王國」的德國,卡爾·賓士在這裡造出第一輛汽車,汽車不僅是令人驕傲的出口品,還是國家身分的象徵。

 

It’s also the country where, in darker times, Hitler laid the groundwork for a network of multilane highways that in the postwar years came to epitomize economic success — and freedom.

同樣的這個國家,在它較黯淡的時代,希特勒打下多車道高速公路系統的基礎,而這系統在戰後年月裡成為經濟成就和自由的典範。

 

Call it Germany’s Wild West: The autobahn is the one place in a highly regulated society where no rule is the rule — and that place is sacred.

把它想成德國的「大西部」吧:在一個受到高度規制的社會裡,高速公路是唯一沒有規矩就是它的規矩的地方,而此處神聖不可侵犯。

 

“It’s a very emotional topic,” confided Stefan Gerwens, head of transport and mobility at ADAC, an automobile club with 20 million members, which is opposed to any speed limit.

So emotional, apparently, that facts and figures count for little.

「這是個高度情緒化的議題。」全德汽車俱樂部的運輸流動主任史帝芬・葛文如此坦承。全德汽車俱樂部是有兩千萬會員的汽車社團,他們徹底反對給高速公路設下速限。這個議題顯然太具情緒性,以致事實和數據都變得無關痛癢。

 

Germany is woefully behind on meeting its 2020 climate goals, so the government appointed a group of experts to find ways to lower emissions in the transport sector. Cars account for 11 percent of total emissions, and their share is rising.

德國距離達成2020年的氣候目標已大幅落後,因此政府指派了專家團隊以找出減低運輸方面碳排放的方法。車輛的碳排放量佔去總排放量的一成一,而且比例還在增高。

 

A highway speed limit of 120 kph, or 75 mph, could cover a fifth of the gap to reach the 2020 goals for the transport sector, environmental experts say.

環境專家說,給高速公路設置時速120公里(或75英里)的速限,可以在交通方面填補五分之一的缺口,協助達成2020年的氣候目標。

 

“Of all the individual measures, it is the one that would be the most impactful — and it costs nothing,” said Dorothee Saar, of Deutsche Umwelthilfe, a nonprofit environmental organization that has lobbied for a speed limit.

「在所有個人可以達成的事項裡,這是最具影響力,也不須花費成本的方法。」非營利環保組織「德國環境救援」的朵樂絲・薩爾說,此組織長年力促給高速公度限速。

 

“But when it comes to cars,” Saar sighed, “the debate tends to become irrational.”

「可是一談到車,」薩爾嘆息道:「辯論往往就變得不理性了。」

 

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