Are speed limits really useful in reducing pollution?

Some places are taking dramatic measures to reduce pollution. In one case, banning heavy trucks seemed to be the trick and in other case, reducing the speed for all vehicles. Nevertheless, since there's always the other side of a story, some voices have been raised claiming that lowering speeds might not be the best option.

Such is the opinion of Faconauto (the Spanish Association of Car Dealers). They claim that reducing maximum speeds could be have the opposite effect for the environment. The arguments are as follows:

  • It will increase traffic jams problems and increase accidents because cars won't be able to escape fast from a jam spot.
  • Cars with manual transmissions need to use lower gears thus being at higher rpm (Europe's use of automatics is very low compared to the US)
  • Optimum emissions/mileage for cars are designed for speeds around 90-100 km/h (55 to 60 mph) and not for the 80 km/h limit the Catalan government (Spain) is forcing this fall.

Faconauto's proposal is a set of flexible limits (even raising the bar on the absolute max of 120 km/h, 80 mph, for freeways outside Barcelona area) adapted to weather, traffic conditions, road condition and the "own driver's responsible behavior".

Their alternative to reduce pollution (which is very logic since their business is selling cars) is forcing emission tests (called ITV) to be stricter so older polluting vehicles which aren't properly maintained are forced to be retired and help motorists to buy newer and cleaner cars.

So what's your opinion?


[Source: Europa Press via Econoticias]

Share This Photo X