Variable speeds on motorways - danger, pollution and traffic jams on the list of effects of this bad measure - B. Debaets

Thursday, 18 May 2017 19:13
Variable speeds on motorways - danger, pollution and traffic jams on the list of effects of this bad measure - B. Debaets © Belga
Making it possible to increase the speed limit to 130 km/h on certain highway sections, as contemplated by Federal Minister François Bellot (RM), would increase pollution, mobility problems and especially the number of accidents on roads, especially fatal ones, said the Brussels Secretary of State in charge of Road Safety, Bianca Debaets (CD&V), on Thursday.
Speaking of her "firm opposition" to such a measure, which she does not intend to authorise in the Brussels Region, Mrs Debaets indicated that she was arguing instead for variable speeds in certain circumstances.

"Arriving at a destination a few seconds faster is the only benefit of the measure suggested by the Federal Minister of Mobility. I am rather in favour of a reduced limitation in specific places as is the case with the turn in Forest on the Brussels ring road. "Various speeds could also be envisaged, depending on the time or density of traffic, as the Netherlands successfully did", commented Mrs Debaets.

For the Brussels Secretary of State, the figures speak for themselves: 540 victims killed on the spot during road accidents and a total of 50,957 wounded in 2016 in Belgium, "very far from being among the best European countries in this regard" and 4,526 injured and 11 killed in the only Brussels region. Most of these accidents are due to excessive speed.

"Increasing the maximum speed allowed to 130 km/h would lead people to drive even faster, a margin of tolerance being applied frequently. Moreover, compared to other countries, our motorway network is very dense, "1 every 5 kms on average for 1 every 50 kms at the European level - and therefore it would greatly increase the risk of conflict situations and serious accidents", the Secretary of State pointed out.

Sarah Johansson
The Brussels Times
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