MPs slow down maximum speed increase
The Dutch parliament has slowed down Transport Minister Melanie van Schultz’s plans to introduce a 130 kilometre per hour maximum speed on 60 percent of Dutch motorways from September 2012. MPs say the measure can only be introduced on motorways where there are no safety issues. The parliamentary Christian Democrats submitted a motion on Thursday evening to stop the minister from introducing higher maximum speeds on roads that are not safe enough.
Last week, Minister Schultz admitted that 20 percent of the motorways earmarked for higher speeds needed extra precautions to prevent an increased number of road deaths and serious road injuries. Nevertheless she wanted to push ahead with the plan to prevent a patchwork of speed limits across the country. The Christian Democrat motion was passed.
Christian Democrat MP Sander de Rouwe initiated the motion in spite of agreements between the coalition parties conservative VVD and Christian Democrats to increase maximum speeds on Dutch motorways. He says safety measures have to be implemented first before speeds are increased.
The motion means the minister will have to phase in the changes. She hopes that by September speed limits on 40 percent of the motorways can be increased to 130 kilometres per hour. The other motorways will follow suit as soon as accelerated measures are introduced.
Minister Schultz said on Thursday that she could live with the motion.
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