Raising minimum speed on motorways by 10 km/hour would have little effect, Vias says
Monday, 18 November 2019
Increasing the minimum speed on motorways is a good idea, but it will in principle have little impact on road safety, according to Vias. Credit: Belga
Vias reacted to the draft law to increase the minimum speed on motorways from 70 to 80 km/h by saying it would not have a big effect on road safety.
“Increasing the minimum speed on motorways is a good idea, but it will in principle have little impact on road safety,” said Stef Willems, the spokesperson for Vias, the institute for road safety.
The Institute for Road Safety reacted to the bill proposed by MP Frank Troosters, to increase the minimum speed on Belgian motorways from 70 to 80 kilometres per hour, as “the limit of 70 is actually dated,” according to him.
The proposal to increase the minimum speed comes as it is widely recognised that driving too slowly on the motorway can be as dangerous as driving too fast.
A big difference in speed on the motorway between different drivers is the biggest danger, according to Vias. If the minimum speed is increased, the difference between the lowest and the highest speed is reduced, improving road safety. “It would reduce the number of overtakings,” Willems added.
However, increasing the minimum speed will only have a very small effect in practice. “We find that very few people still drive at 70km/h,” Willems said. “If you know that about 1.3 million fines are written out every year, the 100 fines for people driving too slowly do not represent much,” he added.
VAB, the Flemish mobility organisation, supports the idea as well, but “does not really see the immediate need for it,” instead proposing to include the measure in the revision of the traffic rules.