In the Czech Republic, and many countries throughout Europe, the maximum speed limit in cities, towns, and most urban areas is 50 kilometers per hour.
That means, for example, that the maximum speed throughout streets in Prague is 50 km/h. And if you’re driving on one of the cities major motorways that travels through urban areas, you’ll need to slow down to below 50 km/h when driving through city limits.
In the Netherlands, however, the speed limit is 30 kilometers per hour on 70% of all urban roads. And according to a recent report from the OECD (the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development), it’s the start of a promising new trend.
Earlier this year, the International Transport Forum arm of the OECD published a Speed and Crash Risk report that examined the risk of road accidents in urban areas where pedestrians and automobiles share the same spaces.
According to their findings, the risk of a fatal accident involving a pedestrian is considerably greater in areas where the speed limit is 50 km/h.
“Research has indicated that the death risk is about 4-5 times higher in collisions between a car and a pedestrian/road worker on foot at 50 km/h compared to the same type of collisions at 30 km/h,” the report states.
“Considering this, there is a strong recommendation to reduce speed in urban areas. Where motorised vehicles and vulnerable road users share the same space, such as in residential areas, 30 km/h is the recommended maximum.”
MIght a 30 km/h speed limit be coming soon to Prague and other urban areas in the Czech Republic, one of the OECD’s 36 member states?
A recent article from TV Nova ponders whether the country would be willing to implement the lower speed limits.
While the arguments in favor of the reduced speed limits are logical, however, those in the Czech Republic might not be buying the OECD’s recommendation.
In a poll among Nova readers, a whopping 88% of respondents called the OECD’s proposal “utter nonsense”, while only 7% agreed that the reduced speed limits would benefit safety.