The high mortality on conventional roads reopens the debate: do we have to recover 20 km/h to overtake?

In 2022, one of the regulations that has generated (and generates) the most controversy in the motor world came into force: The 20 km/h margin for overtaking on conventional roads was removed. Now that, almost, twelve months have passed since the decision and that the details of accident rate last year, the debate has been reopened: is this measure related to the increase in mortality? Has it really influenced? Should it be recovered? The motor world and the associations of victims and users have spoken.

The figures for 2022

Let’s go with the figures that have been the starting point of the debate. These days, the DGT published the balance of accidents for 2022: last year, on Spanish roads, 1,042 fatal accidents occurred in which 1,145 people died and another 4,008 were seriously injured. This means 44 more deaths (+4%) and 425 fewer seriously injured (-10%) than in 2019, the reference year and prior to the pandemic.

Conventional roads continue to be the ones that register the most deaths: 833 people lost their way in these (73% of the total) and 312 on the highway and dual carriageway (27%): of every four deaths, three occur in secondary schools and one on the highway or dual carriageway. Comparing it, again, with the data for 2019, an increase of 5% and 3% is observed, respectively.

A review twelve months later

If we travel to March 2022, when the reform of the Traffic Law came into force, we will find the moment in which the rule that changed the way of overtaking on conventional roads came into force: drivers no longer had the margin of 20 km/h that allowed us to exceed the limit of the road to carry out this maneuver. The authorities (DGT and Ministry of the Interior) assured that, after one year, they would assess the measure and its effect.

Read More:   Why do we usually say that the timing chain is better than the timing belt?

It is true that there is a month and a half left for this appointment, but the accident rate figures on conventional roads put this decision, once again, under the spotlight. Although, according to DGT data, Running off the road is the type of accident that has caused 42% of deaths… They don’t talk about the other causes.

Political parties, motor world entities, associations, users and road safety experts have taken the opportunity to show their doubts about the elimination of the 20 km/h margin proposing a review of the measure and considering whether it has influenced (or not) this increase in accidents.

motor world

From the motor world they ask for a review and even the disappearance of the measure, alleging that there are no (or, at least, they are not public) technical reports that support the decision to eliminate the 20 km/h margin. At the same time, they request clarification on the causes that explain the increase in accidents on conventional roads.

In this sense, as stated Europe Pressin Associated European Motorists (AEA), believe that the absence of this extra limit “has had an impact on the increase in traffic accidents.” The RACE has demanded that “the pertinent studies be carried out or published that endorse a measure with such depth in order to assess its effectiveness in depth, especially after the negative data offered by the DGT in relation to conventional roads”.

Read More:   Video shows the Porsche 911 Turbo S with 900 Hp cruising the motorway at an incredible 328 km/h

The Biker Platform for Road Safety considers that Eliminating the 20 km/h margin has been “a serious mistake. Until there are, really, studies that verify that this norm was counterproductive, it is useless ”. For the Asociación Mutua Motera (AMM) “the measure was adopted in an absolutely sloppy way from a technical and regulatory point of view (…). It is urgent that he retire.” They have recognized, yes, that the data published by the DGT are not enough to assess whether it has influenced the accident rate.

Associations of victims and users

The Accident Victims Association (DIA) welcomes the maintenance of the measure. From your point of view, the disappearance of the extra limit to overtake “has absolutely no impact on the accident rate” because it must be shown that it is the cause of the accidents and because, except in exceptional cases, “it is impossible to control the speed at which overtaking is carried out”.

In STOP Accidents they do not see “nothing strange” in the regulation that came into force last year: they remember that exits from the road due to speeding were already “worrying” and that it is still “too early to know if the measure is good or not.” ConBici believes that speed reduction, changes in infrastructure and mobility are “essential to reduce accidents.”

And finally, Walking Pedestrians considers that “what is really linked to road accidents is speed because it directly influences the ability to control it. Many dangerous roads drastically reduced the number of accidents when it was decided to lower the maximum speed and take control measures. So much so that they would not welcome the recovery of the 20 km/h margin for overtaking on conventional roads because “it does not seem to be related” to the increase in accidents on them.

Read More:   The theft of fuel in cars increases: they perforate the tanks due to the high cost of gasoline in California

The obvious risk

It should be remembered that having the margin of 20 km/h was essential to overtaking in the shortest possible time and traveling the shortest distance in the opposite direction. Its suppression has implied that the maneuver is not so safe because we need more time and more space: a study carried out by Juan José Alba (Mechanical Engineer and professor at the University of Zaragoza) revealed that passing a truck at 110 km/h is five seconds less than at 90 km/h.

Something that increases the risk of suffering a frontal collision. This danger goes against the main premise of the new Traffic Law: reduce the accident rate and reinforce road safety. And, furthermore, it could contradict Article 85 of the General Traffic Regulations which establishes that these maneuvers must be done in the shortest time and space possible to reduce the risk involved.

About Alicia Peters

Check Also

The trailer for the penultimate Fast & Furious film reveals that they recover the original spirit: street racing returns

The trailer for the penultimate Fast & Furious film reveals that they recover the original spirit: street racing returns

Fast X will be the first of the last two Fast and Furious movies. The …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *