Where this is already possible, cities are reducing the speed on roads of 50 kilometers to 30 kilometers per hour. In October, the House of Representatives adopted a proposal to introduce 30 kilometers per hour within built-up areas as a standard from now on. Such a reduction in speed has already been introduced in Spain, for example. The city of Brussels also reduced the speed, after which the number of traffic accidents decreased sharply.
This summer, the Road Safety Research Foundation called for the speed limit to be lowered to 15 kilometers per hour on streets without pedestrians. The organization has received support for this proposal from Safe Traffic Netherlands and CROW Traffic Institute.
The city does not need an overhaul to implement the speed reduction, says Aldermann Amsterdam de Vries. “It is better to introduce the rule of thirty everywhere at once, so that the standard is clear to all, and then make the necessary adjustments to the roads in the coming years.”
According to traffic psychologist Gerard Tertulin, direct road modification is indeed necessary. “If you just put a different speed sign, the drivers will continue to drive faster and that just makes it less safe.” With active modifications, he considers narrowing the road (visually) or replacing the asphalt with gravel. “Enforcement is of course important, too.”
Concerns in public transport companies
Municipal public transport companies in Amsterdam (GVB), Rotterdam (RET) and The Hague (HTM) fear that slowing down will have negative consequences for public transport. Companies believe that slowing down will make public transportation slower and less attractive.
“We call on the central government and municipalities to take into account the ambition of accelerating urban public transport in the plans,” the companies wrote in a statement. They are calling for priority roads, free lanes and, where possible, an exception for public transport from the maximum speed of 30 kilometers per hour.
Tomorrow the topic of road safety will be on the agenda of Parliament.
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