Tag Archive: speed limit

  1. Amsterdam investigates intelligent speed adjustment e-bike technology

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    Source: Fietsbaraad

    The municipality of Amsterdam is working with telecom company, Odido, and the Townmaking Institute to explore the prospect of temporarily and/or locally limiting electric bicycle speeds in the city, to improve road safety in certain areas.

    Intelligently reducing e-bike speed is a method that is being developed to improve safety in specific road scenarios, such as school zones, bad weather conditions, or road closures. In order for this technology to work effectively and ensure that required speeds are maintained, electric bikes would need to be connected to a communications network at all times.

    The speed change technology has already been piloted on a closed circuit and the next stage of the project would be to test it on a busy cycle route. It has been reported that implementing this type of intelligent speed control for e-bikes on a large scale is likely to take a long time, as agreements need to be reached with the European Commission and electric bike manufacturers. There is also a need to gather evidence across the city on when and where cycling speeds need to be limited, and whether a maximum speed for cycle lanes would also be possible.

  2. T-Mobile and Townmaking run e-bike ISA trials in Amsterdam

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    Source: Fietsberaad.nl

    Intelligent Speed Adaptation (ISA) would review and adjust the speed of e-bikes and speed-pedelecs in line with local limits

    The concept of Intelligent Speed Adaption (ISA) is not new, having been tested in cars for many years – however, thus far it has seen little real-world application. In Amsterdam, T-Mobile and Townmaking are now running experiments for the technology in regard to two-wheelers; routes such as that between Amsterdam and Schiphol are being monitored for potential application.

    How could this work? Speed could be reduced through geofencing, that is, if a bicycle enters a certain area or approaches a certain location, the speed is automatically reduced. Such technology is already used in some rental e-scooter fleets such as Voi in the UK, where ‘slow speed zones’ automatically reduce a vehicle’s maximum speed.

    In the latest experimentation by T-Mobile, an app was tested that turns the screen of the rider’s smartphone red when entering an area with a speed limit. To prevent too much distraction, other warning methods are also being considered, such as a vibration signal via the handlebar. Technology would eventually be made available to bicycle manufacturers and road authorities to implement their own preventative measures.

    A crucial element for the success of the new technology is the speed with which the system reacts and modulates the bicycle to a safer speed. This so-called latency (deceleration factor) can make the difference in whether or not a cyclist brakes in time in an unsafe situation. Thanks to modern 4G and 5G networks, T-Mobile says very low latency connectivity can be achieved in 10 milliseconds or less.

  3. Powers to enact 30km/h low-speed zones demanded by over 260 German cities

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    Source: TheMayor.eu, D. Balgaranov

    Municipalities in Germany are unable to issue their own maximum speed laws, impacting the success of liveable city initiatives.

    In 2021, 7 German cities announced a new initiative, advocating for the right of municipalities to set their own speed limits. Since the founding cities of Aachen, Augsburg, Freiburg, Hanover, Leipzig, Münster, and Ulm sparked the conversation, 263 municipalities have declared their support.

    The ‘Liveable cities through appropriate speeds’ initiative focuses on the central right to enact 30km/h low-speed zones. The basis for this rests on the idea that liveability and quality of life are closely associated with public spaces and the interaction between motor and pedestrian traffic in these areas. Low-speed zones have been shown to reduce noise pollution, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide pollution and decrease the risk of fatal injuries in the areas they are enacted.

    The initiative’s four demands, signed off by mayors, city councilors responsible for mobility and urban development, and urban planning departments are:

    • A commitment to a turnaround in mobility (away from personal vehicles and towards other means of transportation) and quality of life measures in cities.
    • A 30km/h speed for motor vehicle traffic, including on main roads, is an integral part of a sustainable, city-wide mobility concept and a strategy for upgrading public spaces.
    • Petition the federal government to immediately create the legal prerequisites for municipalities to be able to order a maximum speed limit of 30 km/h where the municipalities deem necessary.
    • A funding model for research projects to determine the individual aspects, benefits, and effects of this regulation, to improve the application of this principle.
  4. New Spanish law to require 30 km/h speed limit in urban areas

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    Source: Eltis – The Spanish Minister of the Interior has announced that the Council of Ministers has approved a proposal to significantly amend traffic legislation in order to improve road safety. The aim is to reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries in road accidents by 50% over the coming decade, in line with European Union and World Health Organisation recommendations. The long-term target will be to reduce these figures to zero by 2050.

    Amongst the package of legal reforms, a Royal Decree was approved to amend the General Circulation Regulations and the General Vehicle Regulations on urban traffic measures. The purpose of these changes is to reduce the death toll on roads in cities, which increased marginally between 2018 and 2019, whilst regulating newly emerging modes of urban mobility.

    The standard sets the new speed limits on urban roads, based on their classification:

    • The speeds on single lane roads with a pavement which does not differ in height from the road’s surface will now be limited to 20 km/h.
    • Roads with a single lane each way will be limited to 30 km/h.
    • Roads with 2 or more lanes each way will remain unchanged with a limit of 50 km/h.

    The new limits will be applied 6 months after their announcement in the Official Gazette of the State. This will allow time for drivers to familiarise themselves with the changes and for local authorities to implement the necessary signage.

    The Minister emphasised that changing the speed limit from 50 km/h to 30 km/h could reduce the likelihood of deaths in road accidents five-fold. Moreover, this change is not expected to impact urban traffic journey times.

    Meanwhile, similar reforms are being made in other European Member States. In the Netherlands a majority in the House of Representatives recently approved a proposal to reduce the speed limit on streets in built-up areas from 50 km/h to 30 km/h. Other regions are following suit, with the governing coalition of the Belgian capital Brussels agreeing to apply a default 30 km/h limit throughout the city, starting in January 2021.

    At EU level, in October, the European Commission and the Florence School of Regulation organised a seminar with experts, researchers and stakeholders on speed and speed management in European road safety policy. The Conclusions are available online. Participants highlighted the current state of play with regard to speed in the EU and supported the issuance of guidelines on speed at EU level.

    Original article first published 10 November 2020 by La Moncloa.

    Photo by Jonas Stolle on Unsplash.

  5. LEVA-EU welcomes change of Belgium’s Traffic Code for personal light electric vehicles

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    April 4th The Belgian Parliament has voted in favour of an amendment relating to an increase of the maximum allowed speed for personal light electric vehicles.
    Formerly the maximum speed in Belgium was 18 km/h but that will now be increased to 25 km/h. Belgium uses the European standard for personal light electric vehicles EN 17128/2017 as a basis for the revision.

    It is important to bear in mind that the texts voted by Belgium Parliament still need to be published in the Official Journal before coming into effect. LEVA-EU will keep you updated on our website as soon as the text is published.

    Manufacturers, importers and distributors on for the Belgium market should take note that this change applies to:
    1) Self-balancing one and two wheeled electric vehicles
    2) Electric scooters without a seating position as well as electric hoverboards

    For further details please contact LEVA-EU Manager, Annick Roetynck, email annick@leva-eu.com, tel. +32 9 233 60 05

    1) European Standard EN 17128/2017
    2) Amendment 4
    a. In Dutch: ‘’gemotoriseerd voortbewegingstoestel’’
    b. In French: ‘’engin de déplacement motorisé’’

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