Tales from the Water Cooler: Just can't curb the need for speed

A journey down the German autobahn proves some things are universal

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The Independent Online

Short of being locked in an old fridge with James Corden and then buried in a landfill site, I’d do anything for this paper. I’d even risk my life.

And, humanitarian that I am, I did just that yesterday, when I drove at over 130mph on a no-speed-limit German autobahn. And while the experience left me giggling like a Japanese Belieber, I didn’t do it just to get a tingle in my Pringle.

I wasn’t thrill-seeking; I was putting my humanity to the test. Eh, you’re welcome.

There has been much talk recently about raising the British speed limit to 80mph, with some wailing that the plan is libertarian madness and the rest licking their lips and booking a personal trainer for their right foot. And while my haste in a hired BMW betwixt Munich and Frankfurt was thrilling, I’m still not sure where I stand.

Yes, people (let’s be honest, mostly men) like going fast, but does that make it right? Look at this week’s announcement by Avon and Somerset police, that some 24,000 people had broken a 50mph limit through some roadworks on the M4 and M5 near Bristol.

Even faced with a field of orange cones, we’re itching to engage the hyper-drive. Nothing can curb our acceleration. And, believe me, our German friends are the same.

Even as I crossed Bavaria faster than Superman himself, there was a succession of irate Helmuts driving up behind me and telling me to move... over... now! And yes, filthy hand gestures are international…