Environmental speed limit collided with the law

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Transportation officials tried to reduce air pollution levels in Oslo by lowering speed limits on main highways into the capital to just 60 kilometers per hour (about 40mph). A court ruling this week, however, deemed the speed limits unenforceable under current law.

Motorists routinely defied the lower speed limits, which have been imposed in Oslo during the past few winters. The theory was that slower speeds reduced the amount of road dust churned up by studded winter tires, but motorists clearly felt it was unnatural to drive as slowly as 60kph on multi-lane motorways.

One finally challenged the lower limit in court after being fined for speeding. An appeals court ruled in his favour, declaring that the law did not allow lower limits for environmental purposes.

Now officials at both the state transport and justice ministries are considering their options, which include scrapping the lower limits entirely or simply rolling speed limits down to 70kph year round. No action was expected this winter, though, and now motorists can ignore the 60kph speed limit signs on the E18 highway from downtown to Lysaker, on state highway 4 from Sinsen to Grorud, and on Ring 3 from Ryen to the Granfoss Tunnel.

Views and News staff