Czech Republic to Allow 150 km/h Speed Limit on Selected Highways
In a bold move, the Czech government is set to allow drivers to reach speeds of up to 150 km/h on specific stretches of its highways.
The decision, slated to take effect within the next two years, will initially be limited to a few carefully chosen sections, each spanning several dozen kilometers.
Safety experts may advise against raising the speed limit, but surprisingly, there are few opponents among the senators. This marks a significant departure from eight years ago when the same proposal was flatly rejected by the Senate.
In Europe, the prevailing trend leans towards reducing highway speed limits to address safety, emissions, and noise concerns.
The forthcoming weeks will see Senators engaging in discussions about the new law, which will also entail modifications to the point system, fines, and regulations regarding 17-year-olds with mentors and driver’s licenses.
The selected high-speed segments of the highway will be subjected to stringent safety standards and equipped with variable traffic signs to adjust speeds when necessary.
While the Czech Republic is not the pioneer in increasing highway speed limits, it joins Germany, where drivers are permitted to reach up to 130 km/h on the autobahn, and Poland and Slovakia, with speed limits of 140 km/h and 130 km/h, respectively.
The decision hasn’t been without controversy. Igor Siroty of the Czech Automobile Club voices concern, cautioning that highway accidents often result in tragic consequences, and raising the speed limit will only escalate risks. He also highlights that the Czech Republic already possesses the highest speed limit on European highways, second only to Germany.
Conversely, advocates of the new law assert that modern vehicles can safely handle speeds up to 150 km/h. Furthermore, they argue that driving at higher speeds could significantly reduce travel time under favorable weather and traffic conditions.
To assess safety and traffic violations, the Czech Republic will monitor pilot sections of the highway. If successful, the country may expand the high-speed road sections in the future.
Among the potential high-speed sections of the highway are the D3 between Tábor and České Budějovice, the D11 between Hradec Králové and Jaroměř, and the D1 near Přerov’s new six-lane section.
While the change remains a subject of controversy, it is evident that the Czech Republic is veering towards higher speed limits on its highways. Only time will tell whether these increased speeds will lead to a surge in accidents or serve to expedite drivers’ journeys to their destinations.
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