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Police waive speeding tickets in 120 zones

TT/The Local · 4 Jan 2012, 12:20

Published: 04 Jan 2012 12:20 GMT+01:00

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When the Swedish Transport Administration (Trafikverket) recently decided that seven Swedish highways are safe enough for a speed limit of 120 km/h, they made a mistake in the legislative text, according to TV.

”Vehicles are prohibited from reaching a higher speed than 110 km/h. The Transport Administration will issue guidelines stating that the top speed allowed on a motorway should be 120 km/h,” the text reads.

Due to the confusing text, the Swedish National Police Board (Rikspolisstyrelsen) in December 2011 sent out guidelines not to issue speeding tickets to people caught driving too fast on those particular roads.

“Since the law itself is so unclear, our staff will not report anyone driving faster than 120 km/h at present,” said Anders Arvidsson of the agency to the paper.

This does not, however, mean that drivers are free to drive at any speed they like, according to Arvidsson.

“There just isn't scope to implement the law and those driving 120 km/h are breaking the law without knowing it, as the highest speed allowed is still 110km/h. We chose to not report on speeding at all to avoid the discussion,” Arvidsson said to the paper.

The roads affected are:

E4 North Uppsala - Mehedeby

E18 West Enköping

E20 West Mariefred - Eskilstuna

Story continues below…

E4 North Gränna - Linköping

E4 Strömsnäsbruk - south Örkelljunga

E6 Båstad - Heberg, varying speeds

E6 Heberg - South Värö-Backa

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

12:52 January 4, 2012 by Grindsprint
I don´t live anywhere near those roads :(
12:57 January 4, 2012 by Frank Arbach
110 km/h? 120km/h? Get real! I've seen folks driving much, much faster - and the reason is there is little to prevent them: certainly not some speed limit sign

A typical cocktail of Swedish incompetence: bungling bureaucrats (at the Trafikverket) a barely existent police presence to enforce traffic laws - and drivers who believe it to be their God-given right to drive at whatever speed they like, using hand-held mobiles all the while.
13:19 January 4, 2012 by Digithed
@Frank - While what you say might be true, Sweden also has the lowest number of road fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants per year in the entire world except for some small pacific islands called The Marshall Islands.

Number of road fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants per year...

Sweden = 2.9

U.K. = 3.59

U.S.A. = 12.3

(source http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_traffic-related_death_rate)

I don't know quite what you think Sweden is doing wrong regarding safe driving and not enforcing the laws, but I know where I'd rather be a motorist.
13:31 January 4, 2012 by Abe L
The STA needs to get their heads out of their asses and wake up to reality. It's 2012, Sweden has excellent roads and high quality cars and it should be on par with Germany by now. The advertised highways are more then safe enough to drive 160KM/H as there is practically no traffic on them while much more roads should be bumped to 120KM/H+.

Low speeds limits are a very large source of frustration which is proven to lead to MORE accidents then the increased speed. A road that limits you to 70KM/H is NOT a highway period, not even if you label it one.
13:40 January 4, 2012 by EtoileBrilliant
@Digithed - you are right. But.....

Sweden's low fatality rate is largely due to (i) the exceptional quality of their rural roads in terms of high investment and (ii) the sparsely populated country.

Just because the SUN countries (Sweden, UK and Netherlands) have the lowest fatality rates doesn't mean there isn't room for improvement. I would like to see the numbers be 5-10% of their current rates (i.e. statistically zero) based on existing technology, a more rigorous enforcement of current legislation and a transfer journeys to other transport means.
14:19 January 4, 2012 by this_aint_sparta
One should drive according to his/HER balls and the HK the car can offer and the rest should be left on fate, accident might happen once in life but then one can enjoy the mighty 280 HK rest of the life
14:28 January 4, 2012 by nar klockan klamtar
All cars should be fitted with a governer to control top speed.
14:56 January 4, 2012 by bravedave
@digithed do you have the stats for Germany? Looks like Sweden just got its 1st autobahns :-)
15:18 January 4, 2012 by Digithed
@bravedave - The link is there in my comment, but Germany are 9th in the world with 4.5 fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants per year.

The top 10 is as follows...

1. Marshall Islands (1.7)

2. Sweden (2.9)

3. San Marino (3.2)

4. Malta (3.4)

5. United Kingdom (3.59)

6. Iceland (3.8)

7. Japan (3.85)

8. Netherlands (4.1)

9. Germany (4.5)

10. Ireland (4.7)
15:42 January 4, 2012 by Tamm O'Shanter
Quoting statistics does not always compare like with like. For example, the UK has recently seen a decline in road traffic fatalities up to 2010 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reported_Road_Casualties_Great_Britain#cite_note-6

while there was some concern about an increase in Swedish road traffic fatalities (in part of 2011) http://www.thelocal.se/34728/20110704/

Maybe the UK authorities ARE responding to concerns about dangers on the road - like another poster above, I've not seen much sign of this happening in Sweden.

Be that as it may, I wouldn't say I feel 'safe' on Swedish roads are - given the idiotic things that some drivers do: like being overtaken (undertaken?) on the wrong side, by a 4-wheel drive being driven by a guy talking on a mobile phone - towing another vehicle….
16:23 January 4, 2012 by Rick Methven
@Abe idiot

Sweden has started to adjust road speeds to fit the actual road conditions more closely such as increasing the speed limit to 120kph on some sections of motorway. This will be reviewed in a couple of years to see if it is safe to increase some lengths of motorway to 130kph. At the same time speed limits on some stretches of motorway have been reduced to 90/100kph as they where found to be accident prone. Other roads have had increases/decreases in the speed limit to fit more in with the road condition, exactly as Germany has done. It is a myth that there are no limits on the autobahns. there are more and more stretches that are limited, because of road conditions, and The advised maximum speed in Germany is 130kph. They actually want to make 130kph the legal maximum but are afraid of the backlash from idiots like you if they do it all at once.

The general problem in most countries is that while it may be safe to drive at 160kph on SOME stretches of road at SOME time, there are idiots like you who think that is OK to use a mobile while driving, who would drive at 160kph while using a mobile in rain snow and ice.

Now I have no problem with such people if their stupidity only kills themselves, unfortunately they all to often kill other innocent people instead. Lets hope that you get caught speeding in Sweden and loose your licence, should improve the accident statistics.
17:52 January 4, 2012 by nar klockan klamtar
Figures for the UK are remarkably good.
18:18 January 4, 2012 by SimonDMontfort
... indeed - and reflecting the efforts put in over the years to improve road safety in the UK.

Unfortunately road casualty figures are still higher there than in a country like Sweden, which has a much smaller population, for example and is geographically larger.

Maybe because of this, many folks think they can drive as they like. There is an attitude that, OK you shouldn't drive in some of the ways already described - but its alright if its ME doing it
19:17 January 4, 2012 by Rick Methven
@SimonDMontfort "but its alright if its ME doing it "

Like Abe L who has posted that HE is OK to use his mobile & drive at 160KPH.

A fact of life on the road is that the more cocky you are the more likely you are going to have an accident.

50 years ago on my 17th birthday, I was eager to start driving. I got into the car with my father and switched on the ignition. He pulled out the key and said this.

If you want to drive a car and live, treat every other driver as an idiot, NEVER think " he won't do that" because he will.

In those 50 years of driving cars, trucks and buses over hundreds of thousands of miles in many countries all over the world, the wise words of my father all those years ago have resulted in 50 years of accident free driving.
19:57 January 4, 2012 by SimonDMontfort
@Rick Methven "treat every other driver as an idiot,"

Good advice: my driving instructor phrased it differently, telling me 'You have to THINK for the other drivers on the road'
20:50 January 4, 2012 by L.A.
I remember the first time in Sweden... hilarious! Empty highway, 2 or 3 cars in sight, and my wife (Swedish) that was overtaking @ 121 km/h the other guy that was driving 120 km/h!!! And she even told me that the Swedish police is checking the speed from elicopters!!

By the way... are radar detectors legal in Sweden?
22:47 January 4, 2012 by old git
figures per km driven are more relevant...driving on crowded UK or Dutch highways is much more stressful than Swedens excellent and mostly empty roads
23:16 January 4, 2012 by Abe L
@Rick, I never said I drove 160KM/H myself but it's 2012 and we should be doing so. I spend countless time on unlimited German autobahn which DOES exist, unlike your lie. I consider getting in the car a waste of time and we need to start getting from A to B faster. Having ample experience driving 200KM/H+ in Germany, I can safely say that this would be no problem in most parts of Sweden.

It's primarily the Stockholm area that has a massive lack of roads, but it's a disgrace to have highways where you are only allowed to drive 70. Cars these days are made to go much faster and we should strive to go forward rather then stand still or go backwards, like a couple of years ago when the Swedes actually REDUCED speedlimits.

There is no point in reducing casualties, which will happen anyway if it creates frustration by 70% of all the vehicle operators. The best solution would be building more roads and removing congestion points. The most space there is between car and the less density, the easier it is to drive much faster.

Germany is simply the perfect example. When I lived there I could commute 117KM in just under 50 minutes. Ideal.
07:25 January 5, 2012 by Rick Methven
@Abe L "There is no point in reducing casualties"

It is OK for people to die if your frustration is reduced: LOL

You just confirmed your position as the most stupid self centred poster on TL.

As for covering the country in concrete so that you can speed along in your phallic symbol, that replaces your manhood, the environment is more important to the rest of us than your thrill seeking.
09:12 January 5, 2012 by engagebrain
Given that oil is a finite resource for which we are competing with the rapidly growing consumption in Asia, cars are not a sustainable solution.

The relatively low level of car fatalities, mainly attributable to excellent Swedish roads, still compares badly with those on public transport - courtesy of the 1% of idiots who somehow acquire, or not, driving licences and escape the attention of the almost nonexistant traffice police.
10:16 January 5, 2012 by eppie
@abe L

But German people actually have driving skills. A thing that Swedish drivers lack.

By the way most dangerous situation in Sweden happen in town. (trucks making a left turn and killing a cyclist for example).

I feel comfortable enough to drive 140 or 150 on Swedish highways but for the love of god don't let Swedish people do this.

By the way, there isn't much autobahn in Germany left without speed limits. Driving from Denmark to Italy it is almost only 120 km/h. Maybe if you go to the less crowded parts of Germany you can find some stretches without speed limit (Ost friesland for example).
00:14 January 6, 2012 by jcwconsult
If safety were the real goal for posted speed limits, which is quite rare in most countries, then Sweden would post main roads at the 85th percentile speed of free flowing traffic under good conditions. On good rural limited access expressways with at least two lanes in each direction, this will mean posted limits of 130 or 140 kph in most cases. Posted this way, the much safer expressways will draw more traffic off the surface highways where the fatality rate per billion kilometers is much higher and the country would see a net reduction in the fatality rate. But posting the safest possible speed limits is politically difficult because of several decades of misinformation and deliberate dis-information spread by authorities. See the website of the Association of British Drivers www.abd.org.uk and our website for the science behind the safest possible 85th percentile speed limits. James C. Walker, National Motorists Association, www.motorists.org, Ann Arbor, Michigan USA

(I still have good memories of visiting Sweden in 1972 as one of the 50 winners that year of the worldwide Top Car Awards by Volvo. I drove some miles in a rental Volvo on roads near Kiruna and stayed at the Hotel Ferrum where many makers stay to do their winter testing.)
06:07 January 6, 2012 by Rick Methven

The changes that that the transport authority (Transportstyelsen) in the past couple of years has precisely that in mind. New speed limits have been introduced so that you now have limits in 10kph bands from 30 - 120. all related to the local road conditions. In 2-3 years, the effects of the changes made will be evaluated and limits on some roads will be increased and others may be reduced. At the same time as improving traffic flow, there is also a requirement to reduce pollution and the consumption of fossil fuels. Reducing average speeds, helps reduce fuel consumption of a car. The trend in most over Europe is to make the maximum speed on any road 130kph/80MPH
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