The Czech Republic is set to allow drivers to travel up to 150 km/h on specific stretches of highway. This change will come into effect in the next two years, though it will initially be limited to a few selected sections, each several dozen kilometers long.
While safety experts recommend against increasing the speed limit, there are few opponents among the senators. This is in contrast to eight years ago when the Senate rejected the same proposal. However, the trend in Europe is to lower speed limits on highways due to safety, emissions, and noise.
Senators will discuss the new law in the coming weeks. It will also modify the point system, fines, and driver’s licenses for 17-year-olds with mentors. The selected high-speed sections of the highway must meet strict safety standards and have variable traffic signs that will reduce speed if necessary.
The Czech Republic is not the first country to increase highway speed limits. Germany allows drivers to travel up to 130 km/h on the autobahn, while Poland and Slovakia have speed limits of 140 km/h and 130 km/h, respectively.
This decision is not without controversy. Igor Siroty of the Czech Automobile Club warns that highway accidents have the most tragic consequences, and increasing the speed limit will only increase the risk. He also points out that the Czech Republic already has the highest speed limit on European highways after Germany.
However, supporters of the new law point out that modern vehicles can safely handle speeds up to 150 km/h. They also argue that driving at higher speeds will significantly reduce travel time if the weather and traffic volume allow.
The Czech Republic will monitor pilot sections of the highway to evaluate safety and traffic violations. If the tests are successful, the country may expand the high-speed road sections.
The selected high-speed sections of the highway may include the D3 between Tábor and České Budějovice, the D11 between Hradec Králové and Jaroměř, and the D1 near Přerov’s new six-lane section.
While this change is still controversial, it is clear that the Czech Republic is moving toward higher speed limits on highways. It remains to be seen whether these higher speeds will lead to an increase in accidents or whether they will help drivers get to their destinations faster.