Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht have written to parliament and the cabinet calling for a reduction of maximum speeds on most urban roads to 30 kph, the Parool reported on Wednesday.
The move would lead to a significant reduction in the number of people being killed in traffic accidents, the cities say. Around half the roads in the four cities already have a 30 kph speed limit but more, officials say, needs to be done.
Amsterdam’s traffic chief Egbert de Vries told the AD that 80% of traffic accident victims are injured on roads with a maximum speed limit of 50 kph. ‘Cars used to have too much space in our cities, but now livability is primary,’ he said. ‘If we want to better protect pedestrians and cyclists, then we need to take action.’
In addition, electric scooters, super fast electric bikes and other light electric vehicles must all move from the cycle lanes to the roads, De Vries said.
In 2020, 610 people died in traffic accidents, including 229 cyclists and 41 pedestrians. Traffic safety research institute SWOV says cutting the speed limit from 50kph to 30kph would cut this by 20% to 30%.
Cabinet intervention is need to change the laws so the lower speed limit can also be imposed on major roads, and to remove the legal requirement to place speed bumps and other traffic calming measures on all 30kph roads.
The new speed limits would come into effect in 2023.
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