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Nearly 50,000 sign petition against Brussels’ new 30kph zone
Nearly 50,000 people have signed the petition against the new 30kph zone in the Brussels region. The new speed limit, which covers 85% of the roads in the capital, came into force on 1 January.
The region has ushered in the new traffic law to improve air quality, cut down on noise pollution and prevents accidents. Some neighbourhoods, such as in Koekelberg and Schaerbeek, have seen several pedestrian deaths in recent years due to speeding traffic.
Brussels authorities studied the effects of the same measure in other world cities, such as Grenoble, Oslo and Bilbao. All saw a reduction in road deaths and serious injuries. In Helsinki, deaths and serious injuries have dropped by two-thirds since the 30kph zone was introduced.
The petition on Change.org was started by someone called Dorian Van Peteghem, who offers no information about themselves. “Stop the Zone 30, a project that is completely insane,” it reads. “Drivers should be punished, not all citizens! Justice does not work in Belgium and so we use grand gestures instead. But this is not a solution; it further paralyses Brussels, where public transport is inefficient!”
The petition lists several recipients to whom it will be addressed, including federal road safety agency Vias and Brussels mobility minister Elke Van den Brandt.
Previously, some 60% of the streets in the capital were subject to a 30kph speed limit. That figure is now 85%, but there are exceptions, such as so-called liveable streets, where speed limits can be as low as 20, and major arteries, where it can be as high as 70.
Drivers should assume that the maximum speed is 30 unless otherwise indicated. The new regulation applies to all vehicles, including bikes and buses, but not to trams.
Photo ©Virginie Lefour/BELGA