SPAIN is to lower the speed limit on secondary roads from 100kph to 90kph.
The Council of Ministers has approved the measure, which is designed to cut the death toll from road accidents.
At the moment 66 per cent of road fatalities occur on secondary roads, about half of which are due to cars leaving the highway usually due to excessive speed.
Spain joins other European countries that have lowered the speed limit on their secondary roads – in the case of France to 80kph.
The Netherlands, Denmark, Ireland, Finland, Cyprus and Malta also have an 80kph limit while Sweden’s is the lowest at 70kph.
There are four countries in Europe with a higher limit – the United Kingdom, at 96 kph (60 miles per hour). Germany, Austria and Romania keep the maximum at 100 kph.
In these three countries the limit on motorways is also higher than in Spain’s 120kph limit at 130 kph.
The lowering of the speed limit on Spanish secondary roads is part of the battery of measures of the Directorate General of Traffic (DGT) for 2019.
Fines for not wearing seat belts will also be tightened, and the use of other vehicles such as bicycles and scooters will be regulated.
The reduction in the maximum limit will affect around 7,000 kilometres of roads. Drivers of vans, lorries and buses that until now could reach a maximum of 90 km/h on these roads will have to keep to a 80 kph limit.
Trafico roads department is planning to make the new limit effective within a month. It has set itself a deadline of 30 days to adapt all existing signs using stickers, as was done when speed was temporarily reduced on motorways and highways to 110kph in 2011.