Speed reduction measures brought in a year ago have successfully reduced the number of deaths on Spain’s roads the country’s traffic authority has confirmed.
The new speed limit of 30 km/h on single-lane urban roads in towns and cities reduced the deaths between May and December by 14% with 38 fewer deaths registered than in the same period in 2019.
From May 11, 2021, the speed limit on one-way streets was reduced from 30 km/h to 20 km/h, to 30 km/h with one lane in each direction and to 50 km/h on roads with two lanes in each direction.
DGT director, Pere Navarro emphasised that “a year is short time to make a rigorous assessment of the effectiveness of the measure”, however, he said that the first indications were that reducing the speed limits had so far helped to reduce the number of deaths and that this was “very good news”.
Navarro acknowledged that the data for 2021 compared to 2019 showed that deaths in the city had decreased by around 25% with the number of people hit by a vehicle down by 32%.
???? Nuevos límites de velocidad en vías urbanas #A30HayMásVida ???? https://t.co/miXas6nExE— Dir. Gral. Tráfico (@DGTes) May 11, 2021
???? Hoy entran en vigor las #Ciudades30, con tres límites de velocidad según el tipo de vía.
Te contamos cuáles son y a qué vías afecta en este #HiloA30 ???? pic.twitter.com/fq7RJ271jE
In regards to cyclists, Navarro said that there were 11 deaths in 2021, compared to 21 in 2019.
Navarro also highlighted that in the case of people over the age of 65 who he said are “especially vulnerable”, the number of deaths was reduced by 40% with the number of pedestrians killed down by 32%.
The director also pointed out that the results of a study by Ponle Freno-AXA show that 70.3% of drivers complied with the new 30 km/h limit on on-way urban roads.
“It seems to me a reasonable result,” said Navarro.
However, the same could not be said for roads where the limit was reduced to 50 km/h with only 57.4% of drivers respecting the new limits
In Madrid, not even half of the drivers stuck to the new reduced speeds. At the other end of the spectrum was Barcelona which the study confirmed had the greatest respect for the new speed limits.
Pere Navarro said that the new measures were some of the most important in recent years with many advantages to road users. He said that the move could potentially lead to fewer traffic lights in towns and cities.
“It has been a step forward for a more human and sustainable urban environment.
“Cars cannot be the habitual form of transport in a city,” he said.