Speed limits of 30km/h (20mph) save lives. Since the first 30km/h zone was installed as a pilot project in the small German town of Buxtehude in 1983, numerous 20-mph zones throughout Europe have proven their worth. Wherever these zones are installed, the number and the severity of accidents is reduced considerably.
A limit of 30km/h (20 mph) in all residential areas improves air quality, as far fewer exhaust gases are emitted, making an important contribution to public health.
The 30km/h (20 mph) limit in all residential areas helps mitigate against climate change, as a lower speed means less CO2 emissions. Additionally, it ensures a more constant traffic flow with less congestion and traffic jams and makes activities such as cycling, walking and using the bus or train much more enjoyable. This then encourages traffic reduction, thereby providing an even greater benefit in terms of less greenhouse gas emissions. What is very important for us: these effects will automatically help reduce the oil dependency of the European Union.
Limiting vehicles to 30kmh (20 mph) reduces traffic noise by up to 40% (3 dbA), which makes a real difference.
A calmer culture in the whole town encourages manufacturers to adapt the car motors to a more easy-going driving behaviour instead of fast speed-ups as its main priority.
Our goal: 30 km/h (20mph) as the standard European speed limit for residential areas – and no longer limited to single zones.
The EU population will benefit. However, children, old people and those with disabilities will benefit in particular, as well as those who can only afford cheaper housing, which is often along main roads outside of any 30km/h (20 mph) zone.
Up to now, there have been strict legal limitations on any administration wanting to establish a 30km/h (20 mph) zone. Also, it is obvious that many people simply do not respect the zones as the 30km/h (30 mph) limit is what they are used to. Or they just don’t see the signs. Therefore, local governments are forced to invest in expensive measures when they want to introduce traffic-calming. However, a standard speed limit for the whole town would both make the regulations very clear and save local governments conderable expense and time.
Additionally, the positive effects on health and the environment would increase and the external costs of transport would fall.
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