Spain Becomes Latest EU Country to Reassess Speed Limits on Country Roads

Spain has become the latest EU country to reduce the speed limit on main rural roads from 100km/h to 90km/h. The decision came on Tuesday, when the authorities altered over 2,700 road signs by spending $602,000. The aim is to attain a place in the safest group of EU countries for rural drivers, with less than 30 deaths per million people.

Meanwhile, in Germany, the government is struggling to impose a speed limit on motorways. The main reasons behind the prevailing arguments in Germany are the rapidly increasing CO2 emissions and fine-particle exhaust pollution. But, reducing the number of deaths caused by road accident remains a key part of the debate in Germany.

In Spain, the latest 90km/h restriction is applicable to main rural roads, usually referred to as ‘conventional or secondary roads’ in Spanish. According to industry sources, they are accountable for around 80% of deadly road accidents in last 5 years.

Last year, the death toll on these roads was 877. In 40% of the deadly accidents, one or more vehicles had swung out of its lane, and over 25% included head-on collisions.

The Spanish government is putting efforts to get the number of deaths under the 39-per-million figure that the government registered in 2017. According to the EU’s European Transport Safety Council data for 2017, the UK and Sweden accoutered lowest road deaths per million inhabitants.

Last year, the French government also took a decision to slash the speed limit on country roads to 80km/h, which later become a major factor behind the rise of the ‘gilets jaunes’  protest movement.

The France Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said on Monday that 116 lesser people lost their lives in accidents on road where the speed limit had been chopped to 80km/h.

While speaking in Coubert, he mentioned that the total number of deaths on French roads had dipped to a historic low of 3,259 in 2018, as it witnessed 189 fewer deaths than 2017.

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