In Germany, most highways have no speed limits at all. In France, all highways have speed limits, but there appears to be virtually zero enforcement. I was on the roads of France for almost a week, and I never saw a person getting a ticket.

The contrast with the U.S. couldn’t be sharper. On our highways, the police are everywhere, and they hand out tickets like spammers. It only takes a week abroad to realize that the U.S. is literally a police state. There are police all over the place, and people are afraid of them.

So what? Isn’t it possible that all those tickets do some good? Perhaps, but even on pragmatic grounds, I greatly prefer the Franco-German approach. I’d rather get where I’m going at 160 kph, and watch the road instead of my rear-view mirror, even if my life expectancy slightly falls. In fact, the case for Franco-German policy is stronger in the U.S. because the country is less scenic; when you’re stuck in traffic in Burgundy, at least you’ve got a nice view.

How about you? If we pulled 90% of the police off the roads, would you cheer, or tremble?