Down, down down. Dutch cut speed
Down, down down. Dutch cut speed

In a move to cut road casualties amongst children the Dutch pushing speed limits even lower.

30 is the new 50.

The Netherlands parliament recently voted that 30kmh will be the limit all streets in built-up areas.

Currently 50kmh is the limit, a level that most of Australia has just reached after years of political resistance.

However 50kmh still means that there is a high level on kinetic energy stored in a vehicle, waiting to wreak havoc in any collision.

While 30kmh is a speed where a human on the street has a good chance of surviving a crash with a motor vehicle. At 50kmh the chance of death is 20% while at 30kmh it is just 3%.

As well, 30kmh is a speed at which it is safe to mix bicycles and vehicles on the same street.

Bicycle network has long argued that many local streets in Australian cities and towns ought to be 30kmh zones so that bike riding is safe and comfortable, pedestrians are welcome, and that children are free to play in the the street.

There is no justification for 50kmh in a local street with homes and families.

Esther van Gardere, THE CEO the Netherland’s bike riders’ association, Fietsersbond, said the decision was really good news for cyclists and pedestrians in Holland.

"Not only is it much safer – less deadly accidents will happen – it is also less noisy and better for the environment,” she said.

"According to our opinion the streets should be owned by pedestrians and cyclists, not so much by cars and this is a good step forward to get there!

"We are actually very proud that years of advocacy led to this result.”

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