Six out of 10 Belgians are in favour of extending low-speed zones in city centres, on condition that main roads are exempted, but two-thirds say they find it difficult to respect the 30-km-per-hour speed limit, according to a survey published on Tuesday by the Vias Mobility Institute. To find out whether, after being in existence for 30 years, the Zone 30 system – limiting speeds in designated areas to 30-km/p/h – had been successful, Vias polled a representative group of 1,000 respondents.
The survey found that a quarter of Belgians live in a Zone 30, and 85% of them are satisfied with that. Fifty-nine percent (59%) found that limiting speeds to 30 km/p/h improved road safety; 42% found that it helped reduce noise nuisance and 26% felt it had reduced transit traffic.
Should the system be extended? Not entirely, Belgians say. Only one in 8 respondents agreed that it should be extended unconditionally to city centres. On the other hand, six out of 10 were in favour of extending the limit to town centres as long as main roads were exempted.
Six out of 10 respondents felt that the zones were badly indicated. This is evidenced by the fact that 88% said they had already driven through the low-speed zones only to realize later that they had done so.
Should the roadways be reorganized to oblige drivers to slow down? Yes, said 63% of respondents, all the more since a 30km/p/h limit seems difficult for some: two-thirds of the respondents admitted to finding it difficult to respect the speed limit in the Zone 30 areas.
In 2017, there were 2,420 accidents (6% of all accidents) in Zone 30 areas. Twelve persons lost their lives in these mishaps.