Lower truck speed limit cuts CO2 emissions
31 October 2005
BRUSSELS — A 15 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions could be achieved if an 80kmh speed limit was imposed on trucks, the Flemish Institute for Technological Research said.
The study was commissioned by Flemish Transport Minister Kathleen Van Brempt, who was both praised and criticised in June after urging an 80kmh speed limit be imposed on trucks.
Two studies were then carried out. The first studied the environmental impact and the other examined road safety. The second report is not yet finished.
However, the environmental-impacts analysis indicates that lowering the truck speed limit from 90 to 80kmh would result in less fuel use and a reduction in CO2 emissions.
The decline in emissions would range from 5 percent for heavy transport trucks to 15 percent for lighter delivery vehicles.
Van Brempt said reducing the speed limit for trucks would help Belgium meet its commitments outlined in the Kyoto Protocol.
Some 16 percent of CO2 emissions from energy use come from road transport and 37 percent of road use emissions are released by trucks.
The minister is also convinced reducing the speed limit would improve road safety. She said it is proven that the faster vehicles travel, the greater the chance of an accident and the more serious a collision is.
“If the maximum speed is reduced, the braking distance declines and the number of accidents — and especially the number of front-end collisions — can diminish,” Van Brempt said.
The minister will await the results of the second study into road safety before raising the issue again. She also hopes to convince Federal Transport Minister Renaat Landuyt to implement the reduced speed limit on a nation-wide basis.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Belgian news