Large cities want to lower speed limit to 30 km/h
Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, and Utrecht want to lower the maximum speed limit to 30 kilometers per hour throughout the cities, they said in a letter to parliament. About half the roads in the Netherlands' four largest cities have a speed limit of 30 km/h. The others have 50 km/h, AD reports.
"In the past, we gave the car too much space in the cities, now the quality of life is paramount. If we want to protect pedestrians and cyclists better, we have to take action," Amsterdam's traffic alderman, Egbert de Vries, said to the newspaper.
Introducing a 30 km/h speed limit on the larger roads in the cities is legally tricky because speed-reducing measures like speed bumps are mandatory on these roads. If cities lower the speed limit without installing speed bumps, they are legally liable in the event of accidents. But this is unfeasible because it also slows down emergency services like the fire brigade or ambulance.
Cyclists' association Fietserbond is happy about the plans. It has been lobbying for a lower speed limit for years, the association said to AD. The road safety research foundation SWOV is also a supporter. "The risk of a fatal injury is significantly lower in a collision at 30 kilometers per hour," a spokesperson said to the newspaper.
The Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, is debating road safety on Thursday.