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Spain will seek to put new 90km an hour limit on conventional roads 

PAGE 18 Spain will seek to put  new 90km an hour

Spain’s traffic department says driving too slow on the roads is as much a problem as driving too fast and a campaign has been mounted to raise awareness of both.

According to the Organi-sation for Cooperation and Development and the European Conference of Transport Minis-ters, 50 per cent of motorists drive at an inadequate speed and 20 per cent exceed the established limit by ten kilometres an hour.

In 2016 (the most recent year with consolidated data) more than 350 people died on the roads in accidents in which speed was one of the con-current factors.

“Not respecting the speed limits is a fundamental element that determines the greater or lesser incidence in road accidents, the severity and degree of injury of the victims in the event of a traffic accident. In addition, in the case of fatal accidents, in 21 per centof them, speed was a concurrent factor,” said a spokesman for Spain’s Driving Directorate.

Speed information cam-paigns are being carried out across the country and the DGT has announced it will include in the new Law on Traffic, Circulation of Motor Vehicles and Road Safety a generic reduction of speed on conventional roads.

According to Gregorio Serrano, director of the DGT, “the idea is that all of these roads have a speed limit of 90 km / h, a limit that the owners of these roads could raise to the levels they consider reasonable. The scientific evidence and the accidents that occur every day on our roads lead us to reduce speed as a necessary measure if we want to reduce the accident rate and the pain of thousands of families.”

According to several studies, a decrease of one per cent of the average speed of a road, produces a reduction of four per cent in fatal collisions (Nilsson). On the other hand, experts Elvik showed that reducing the speed limit by ten kilometres implies a reduction of 2.5 km / h in the average speed. Taking into account both authors, it could be affirmed that reducing the speed limit by 10 km / h would imply a decrease in mortality of around ten per cent.

Research has also shown that the systems of assistance to driving (ADAS) help to reduce the risk of accident, avoiding or mitigating the consequences of it. According to the study of the DGT “Report and analysis on the influence of driving support systems on road safety and its application for the classification of vehicles” the widespread implemen-tation of such assistance systems in national vehicles would reduce the severity of accidents by 57% and avoid a figure of 51,000 accidents and their conse-quences.