News articles

30/80/100 - Reduce speed, increase quality of life!

For our climate, for more safety, for a more attractive public transport system: the heads of the transport institutes at TU Wien, BOKU and the University of Innsbruck are urging for a speed reduction for cars.

photo collage - speed limits

© Tempo 30 / 80 / 100 - jetzt!

photo collage - speed limits

There are strong scientific arguments for reducing the speed limit on Austria's roads. This is why the heads of leading research units in the field of transport have now joined forces to propose a reduction in the legal speed limit: 100 km/h on motorways, 80 km/h on open roads and 30 km/h on municipal streets - this concept would not only be an effective and immediate measure for climate protection, it would also have other advantages, the scientists emphasise.

Climate, environment, safety

"It is clear that we have to rethink our mobility in view of the imminent climate catastrophe," says Univ.-Prof. Günter Emberger (TU Wien), co-author of the open letter. "A reduction of the legally allowed speed is easy to implement as well as a quick and effective step in this direction. Regardless of whether it's an internal combustion engine or an electric car: as the speed decreases, so does the energy demand." Especially in times of inflation, a few km/h less can also save a lot of money.

But in addition to the climate effects, Univ.-Prof. Martin Berger (TU Wien) identifies a whole range of further advantages: "A reduced speed also means: less noise, less particulate matter through tyre and brake abrasion, less nitrogen oxides." A speed reduction would also lead to a drastic improvement in accident statistics: Not only the number, but also the severity of traffic accidents would decrease significantly.

"This is one of the main reasons why we are not only proposing a reduction of the speed limit on motorways, but would like to see a general speed reduction, also on rural roads and in local areas," says Univ.-Prof. Markus Mailer (University of Innsbruck). A speed reduction from 50 to 30 km/h considerably reduces the braking distance, the risk of accidents and the consequences of accidents. For people on foot or by bicycle involved in accidents with cars, this can mean the difference between a relatively minor injury and death.

Making public transport more attractive

Especially in the city, a reduction of the speed limit could decisively change mobility behaviour, the professors are convinced: the speed difference between cars and public transport or the bicycle would largely disappear, making alternatives to the car comparatively more attractive - the proportion of distances covered on foot would also increase, according to estimates by the scientists. "Especially on main traffic axes that are important for public transport, exceptions can be granted to the speed limits for trams and buses," notes Univ.-Prof. Astrid Gühnemann (BOKU Vienna).

"I myself have been sticking to the 30/80/100 speed limits when driving for over a year now," explains Prof. Günter Emberger. "And in the meantime I'm really enjoying it: of course, it's an adjustment at the beginning, but overall you're much less stressed on the road, and in practice you lose less time than you would think."

The initiators would like to see a more fact-based discussion about appropriate maximum speeds on Austria's roads. Arguments and studies on speed reduction are provided on a separate website. "We want to send a signal to politicians that they should finally take a serious look at reducing the speed limit," the scientists state.

(text: Florian Aigner, opens an external URL in a new window)

Detailed information and open letter to the federal government, opens an external URL in a new window