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Dutch Scientists Say Reducing Speed Limits to 50 MPH Would Cut CO2 Emissions by 30%


Holland is a country many people mention for its cleanliness and low-speed driving (120 km/h max on motorways). Still, there’s room for more, as Mattijs Otten and Huib van Essen from the University of Delft released a study saying that the CO2 emissions would be reduced by 30% in the long run by reducing the speed limit to 80 km/h (50 mph).

The reduction would mean that passenger vehicles would save about 2.8 million tons and vans would save about 200 thousand tons.

The intended measure proposed by the two researchers would take into account the fact that it is desirable that the public transport is to be used instead of cars. The Netherlands have a speed cams on all their motorways and speed tickets are expensive enough and paid through taxes, if the speeder doesn’t want to pay them in time.

Although I like the idea of reducing CO2 emissions, I think this measure is a little bit too far stretched. Can you imagine, for example, that instead of driving 90 minutes to work, people would have to drive for two hours? That’s 60 minutes per day more than they used to spend in their cars!

Extending to 21 working days, that’s 21 hours less to spend with their families and take care of their lives. The alternative? Commute via public transportation systems, which, although work well in Holland, make use of a centralized infrastructure and provide less freedom.

Instead of limiting the access to cars and imposing higher taxes that take into account the distance traveled in a month, governments would better ensure a smoother road to electric cars (such as the LEAF, that btw is to make its debut in Holland), so that people should go wherever they want, and not curse their lives for living in a democratic prison.

I guess my thoughts went too far, as I don’t think anyone would impose such drastic speed limitations. And, yes, I’ve been to Holland… nice country.

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