Tougher speed limits for drivers near buses

Tougher speed limits for drivers near buses
After conducting successful tests in Linköping and Örnholdsvik, Sweden’s Road Authority (Vägverket) wants to implement new rules to curb speeds of vehicles driving near buses.

During testing, buses driving near the two cities were outfitted with 30 km/hour speed limit signs which lit up when buses approached a stop.

Test results showed the signs succeeded in getting drivers to slow down.

“Drivers have reduced their speed and are getting close to the statutory 30 km/hour limit,” said Andreas Green of the Swedish Road Authority to Sveriges Radio.

In the Linköping test, drivers behind buses on roads with 50km/hour limits reduced their mean speeds from 51 km/hour to 36 km/hour.

On roads with a 70 km/hour limit, the speed of cars following buses with the flashing signs dropped to 55 km/hour, down from a mean of 69 km/hour.

“This has everything to do with safety. With lower speeds near bus stops, things are safer and more secure,” he added.

Drivers have noticed a difference too.

“Traffic calms down a bit when you’re coming to a bus stop with the 30 km/hour sign flashing,” said bus driver Margareta Wång, who participated in the Linköping trial, to Sveriges Radio.

“If something is flashing it can cause drivers to think a bit more and lay off the gas a little.”

Testing will continue until the summer, after which the Road Authority plans to present its findings to the government.

“The government will take a position on what they end up doing. But it’s not impossible that we end up with a 30 km/hour limit near buses,” said Green.