European Parliament asking for concrete steps towards a 30 km/h speed limit

on Jul 3, 2013

The European Parliament is once again supporting 30 km/h speed limits by calling on the EU Commission to provide an overview of urban areas with a 30 km/h speed limit and the effects of that limit on reducing fatalities and serious injuries. Their call is included in article 14 of a road safety resolution the EP has adopted today noon. The partner organisations of the European Citizens´ Initiative “30 km/h – making streets liveable!” are excited about this support. They welcome the strong signal from the parliament to end the commission´s reluctance and that actions must be taken now.
The deputies have also drawn the attention to the treasure trove of experience about the lower speed limit already gathered in many European cities. This will be very valuable knowledge and helpful for all local authorities throughout the continent.

 

For example, Paris and London are both going to widely expand the 30 kph speed limits on their road network. The reasons the local authorities give for their decision are that pilote projects and first implementations of 30 km/h zones have proven to considerably increase the road safety and the quality of life for their citizens. Paris will have a total of 560 km of limited speed zone, or 37% of all channels by the end of september. And London authorities revealed that the British capital could get a 20mph speed limit introduced on all residential roads and high streets by 2020.

Making the commission move

All European communities should be able to benefit from the experience of the two capaitals as soon as possible, added by the substantial know-how of many more European cities already having introduced wide 30 km/h areas, such as Graz, Lorient, Sevilla, Portsmouth and many more. Taking into account more than 30 000 killed, 250 000 severely injured and more than 1,5 million injured on road accidents in the European Union in 2011, no-one has any excuse for hesitating any longer.

The EU commission had long ago announced to come up with a proposal for a directive on speed limits. This took place in 1987 already, but the commission has been staying hesitant since. In September 2011, the European Parliament took action and decided on a report on road safety recommending an urban speed limit of 30 km/h for the European. One year later, the European Initiative “30 km/h – making the streets liveable” was announced to the commission and passed a legal check. The result was that the European Union has indeed the competence for law-making on this issue. Now it is time for the commission to act.

 

The EU can organise transnational studies – as the European Parliament asked for today – and it can set standards. Speed limits are parts of standard setting and as they are so essential for a safe life they should have prioritiy to many other issues.

 

The partners of the European Citizens´ Initiative are gathering supporting signatures, for example on www.30kmh.eu, to give 30 km/h a much higher priority. It should become the urban standard and 50 km/h should become the exception, with local authorities deciding on the exceptions on their road network. The Parliaments decision is inspiring and motivating to even increase the efforts to make a standard 30 km/h speed limit become reality for the European continent.

 

Comments from partner NGOs:

Samuel Martín-Sosa Rodríguez, Ecologistas en Accion:
“Citizens have a good new to celebrate. Spanish cities should not wait for the Commission to take action and should start understanding the social and environmental benefits of having a 30 city. They must overcome the pressure made by car and road lobbies”

Tino Kotte, Verkehrsclub Deutschland, VCD Nordost:
“Sehr schön, wieder ein weiterer kleiner Schritt in die richtige Richtung!” – Wonderful, another little step in the right direction!”

 

See the Resolution of the European Parliament on Road safety 2011 – 2020 here:

 

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