Swiss government pushes for 60km/h speed limit on busy motorways
The Swiss government has announced that it is looking into new traffic systems that would reduce the speed limit on motorways to 60 kilometres per hour. It is one of the many different policies being looked into as a way to reduce the number of record-breaking traffic jams seen in Switzerland in recent years.
Lower motorway speed limits to be trialled in Switzerland
Last year, drivers in Switzerland spent a collective 32.000 hours stuck in traffic, costing the economy around 1,67 billion francs in lost revenue and environmental costs. That is why, according to the Tages-Anzeiger, the Federal Council is now looking into reducing the speed limit on major roads by up to 50 percent when traffic is at its most severe.
The Federal Roads Office (ASTRA) announced that they would be installing electronic speed displays on major motorways between Swiss cities. These would be used to set the speed limit to a minimum of 60km / h in order to ease traffic jams, similar to the smart motorways used in other nations across Europe.
Lower speed limits proven to ease traffic on roads, experts say
Speaking to the Tages-Anzeiger, ASTRA spokesperson Benno Schmid said that speed reductions have been proven to ease congestion. “Traffic flows better and there are fewer road accidents than before the systems were commissioned," he explained.
Others are not so convinced, with the president of the ACS Motorclub Thomas Hurter arguing that a 60km / h speed limit goes too far. President of the Swiss Commercial Vehicle Association, Thierry Burkart, warned that a lower speed limit on Swiss motorways would make traffic worse in cities and towns across the country, as more direct routes would become just as fast as the main highways.
The speed limit reduction is only one of the many policies being tested by ASTRA, which include banning left-hand drive lorries during peak travel times and scrapping the nighttime ban for heavy vehicles. The new speed limits will be tested on a small scale across the country before a nationwide pilot is launched later in the year. If tests go well, the system will be in place in some areas by 2023, with full coverage by 2026.