Motorways

Support for unlimited motorway speeds in Germany is reducing

Support for unlimited motorway speeds in Germany is reducing

Germany’s largest automobile association ADAC is “no longer fundamentally opposed” to motorway speed limits, and the second largest, ACE, actively supports a maximum speed of 130 km/h. The debate over ending unlimited speed on Germany motorways has been on the agenda again for a year, after a government commission on the environment recommended introducing a 130 km/h limit.  So far the government has ruled out the change. But momentum in favour of a limit appears to be growing with the largest automobile club shifting […]

Lower motorway speed limits coming in Luxembourg and The Netherlands

Lower motorway speed limits coming in Luxembourg and The Netherlands

The Netherlands will introduce a daytime motorway speed limit of 100 km/h across the country from the second half of March, while Luxembourg will reduce speeds to 90 km/h during peak hours, following a successful trial. The Dutch measure is designed to help the country cut nitrogen oxide emissions (NOx), a big problem particularly with older diesel vehicles.   However, Dutch motorways, a large number of which have 130 km/h limits, will also be safer at the lower speeds. Motorway deaths in the Netherlands reached […]

UK government puts new “smart” motorways on hold

UK government puts new “smart” motorways on hold

The UK government has stopped the roll-out of motorways modified so that the emergency lane or hard shoulder is used as a running lane.  The review of the policy was announced after figures revealed in a BBC News documentary showed a significant number of deaths had occurred following incidents of cars stopped in the middle of the road. The original safety case in the UK for so-called “smart” motorways was based on a trial that included emergency refugees for vehicles in trouble every 500m […]

ETSC statement on Dutch 100 km/h motorway speed limit proposal

ETSC statement on Dutch 100 km/h motorway speed limit proposal

Commenting on the Dutch government’s plans to decrease the speed limit on motorways during daytime from 130 km/h to 100 km/h, Antonio Avenoso, Executive Director of the European Transport Safety Council commented: “Higher speeds are always associated with a higher frequency of collisions and more severe consequences.  So a reduction in speeds on Dutch motorways will save lives. That’s to be welcomed, especially as motorway deaths in the Netherlands reached their highest level in a decade last year.  (1) “However, it is important to […]

German parliament rejects 130 km/h limit on motorways

German parliament rejects 130 km/h limit on motorways

A proposal by Green MPs to introduce a national 130 km/h top speed limit on motorways in Germany was rejected in a vote in the Bundestag earlier this month. A government commission included the limit as one of a number of options for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the transport sector in a report published earlier this year. Data analysis by the news organisation Der Spiegel found that the measure could prevent 140 deaths every year. At the time, the German transport minister Andreas […]

More enforcement needed to reverse decline in Dutch motorway safety

More enforcement needed to reverse decline in Dutch motorway safety

Dutch motorways are becoming less safe, according to research by SWOV, the Dutch institute for road safety research. The number of motorway deaths rose to 81 in 2018, the highest figure in more than a decade.  The total number of collisions has more than doubled in five years, from 17,000 in 2014 to more than 38,000 in 2018. SWOV, in a new report, said the main causes of collisions were speeding and drivers being distracted. The organisation also said a shift away from road […]

Autobahn speed limit “would save 140 lives”

Autobahn speed limit “would save 140 lives”

Data analysis by Der Spiegel, a German news magazine and website, has concluded that a speed limit applied across all German motorways would save 140 lives a year. The autobahn debate was sparked again in Germany last month after a 130 km/h motorway speed limit was one of a number of measures recommended by a Government commission looking at how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the transport sector. The transport minister Andreas Scheuer immediately ruled out such a measure, calling it an “unrealistic […]

Belgian study says lower, variable speed limits will speed up commuting

Belgian study says lower, variable speed limits will speed up commuting

Reducing the speed limit on Belgian motorways, particularly during periods of high congestion, would increase average speed and reduce journey times according to research by ETSC’s Belgian member VIAS institute.   Simulations showed that a reduction of the speed limit at peak times, together with a ban on changing lanes would lead to an increase in the actual speed.   “Now the average speed during rush hour is only 44 km/h. The lower limit would see an increase to 57 km/h,” said Wouter Van den Berghe of VIAS Institute. With dynamic limits, traffic flow would improve because everyone drives at a similar speed […]

Lithuania plans roll-out of time-over-distance cameras

Lithuania plans roll-out of time-over-distance cameras

The Lithuanian Road Administration has published a draft list of 25 stretches of roads where it plans to install safety cameras that detect average speed. The country has been trialling the system on a dangerous stretch of the Via Baltica motorway since last year – and will now expand the programme. Research carried out in Belgium and Scotland in 2015 has shown that time-over-distance cameras have considerable safety benefits.   An extensive Norwegian study published in 2014 found the introduction of the system reduced […]

German motorway speed limit trial scrapped

German motorway speed limit trial scrapped

Plans to trial a 120km/h speed limit on sections of the A81 and A96 motorways in the German state of Baden-Württemberg have been dropped due to ‘legal concerns’. The trial, announced in January by the Green party transport minister Winfried Hermann, was set to start in the Summer but was cancelled in August following legal advice that resulted in the opposition of the CDU party – who form part of the governing coalition in the state.  Hermann said he now plans to try out […]

New figures show numbers speeding on motorways

New figures show numbers speeding on motorways

Data from the UK and Belgium have revealed large numbers of drivers speeding on motorways. The UK figures, released to the BBC following a freedom of information request, found that more than 2000 drivers had been fined for speeding at more than 100 mph (160 km/h) in the last year. In Belgium ETSC’s member the Belgian Road Safety Institute (BRSI) has published results of its annual speed survey showing that 1 in 7 drivers on Belgian motorways exceeds 140 km/h, the speed limit being […]

German state plans to trial 120km motorway limit

German state plans to trial 120km motorway limit

The German state of Baden-Württemberg, home of Daimler and Porsche, has announced plans to trial a 120km/h speed limit on sections of the A81 and A96 motorways. The four-year trial, set to begin in May, aims to assess the impact on collisions and noise. The move has put the state transport minister Winfried Hermann at loggerheads with federal transport minister Alexander Dobrindt. In a letter earlier this month, Dobrindt said motorway speed limits are a federal responsibility. ETSC’s German member DVR has said that […]

Speed limits on German motorways in the spotlight again

Speed limits on German motorways in the spotlight again

A poll by YouGov has found that the majority of Germans would, for the first time, support a speed limit on those sections of German motorways that are currently unlimited – but only if it was set at 150 km/h, 20 km/h more than the current highest speed limit found in Europe. ETSC’s German member DVR has said that deaths are 25% higher on stretches of Germany motorways that have no speed limit compared to those with limits. 40 percent would support a limit […]

New vehicle technologies and extension of EU infrastructure safety rules could prevent thousands of collisions on motorways

New vehicle technologies and extension of EU infrastructure safety rules could prevent thousands of collisions on motorways

New safety technologies could play a major role in bringing the numbers killed on European motorways down, according to the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC), authors of a new report published today. The new analysis of developments in motorway safety shows that, despite recent progress, around 1900 were killed on motorways in the EU in 2013. The report cites figures from several countries showing that up to 60% of those killed in motorway collisions were not wearing a seatbelt. The authors call on the […]

Ranking EU Progress on Improving Motorway Safety (PIN Flash 28)

Ranking EU Progress on Improving Motorway Safety (PIN Flash 28)

Motorways are the safest roads by design and regulation. Nevertheless in 2013, around 1,900 people were killed on the motorway network in the EU, representing 7% of all road deaths. Nearly 27,500 people have died on motorways in the EU in the last ten years 2004 to 2013. Nevertheless progress has been made. Across the EU the number of people killed on motorways was cut by 49% between 2004 and 2013 (compared to 44% on the rest of the road network). Over the same […]

“Worst possible time” to increase Spanish motorway speed limits

“Worst possible time” to increase Spanish motorway speed limits

Spain’s highest government advisory body, the Council of State, has asked the Spanish government to reconsider plans to increase the speed limit on some parts of the motorway network to 130 km/h, saying that it could lead to a higher rate of collisions. The Council also criticised the proposal for failing to take into account the cost of changing speed limit signs, and said the move would lead to a decrease in risk awareness among drivers. The Spanish association of road accident victims also […]

German minister rules out end to unlimited motorway speeds

German minister rules out end to unlimited motorway speeds

Alexander Dobrindt, the federal transport minister, has ruled out putting an end to unlimited speeds on some parts of the German motorway network despite evidence that death rates are higher on sections without limits. In an interview published in Bild – accompanied by a picture of the minister reclining on the bonnet of his BMW – Dobrindt said, “German highways are among the safest in the world.” But ETSC’s German member DVR said last year that deaths are 25% higher on stretches of Germany […]

Increase in German motorway deaths

Increase in German motorway deaths

Deaths on motorways increased by 10.6% last year in Germany while the overall figure went down, according to new figures. ETSC’s German member DVR said in response that deaths are 25% higher on stretches of Germany motorways that have no speed limit compared to those with limits. See press release (in German).

EP elections 2014: Where do the main political groups stand on road safety?

EP elections 2014: Where do the main political groups stand on road safety?

A survey by ETSC of the main political groups in the European Parliament ahead of this month’s elections has found universal support for measures to cut deaths and the more than 300,000 serious injuries that occur on Europe’s roads each year. But the research also revealed differences across the political spectrum on which road safety measures should be introduced at the European level. ETSC welcomed the support for concrete measures to cut serious injuries, which have been falling at a slower rate than deaths. The […]

2nd Annual Road Safety Performance Index (PIN) Report

2nd Annual Road Safety Performance Index (PIN) Report

This 2nd PIN Report provides an overview of European countries’ performance in four areas of road safety. It builds on the 1st Road Safety PIN Report published in June 2007. It shows how countries have progressed in reducing road deaths between 2001 and 2007, and how they perform in protecting two particularly at risk road user groups: the elderly people and motorcyclists. It also gives an overview of the striking disparities in motorway safety as the EU adopts a European Directive on road infrastructure […]

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