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Senator Jarasch pushes for 30 km/h speed limit

Bettina Jarasch

Senator Bettina Jarasch

When it comes to traffic safety, Senator for Urban Mobility Bettina Jarasch wants to rely on fewer cars and more 30 km/h speed zones.

Traffic safety is a major issue in Berlin for the next few years and one that she will now tackle more intensively, she told the German Press Agency on Monday (March 14, 2022). "This also includes deceleration: cars need to drive slower," the Green Party politician said. "On Tuesday, I will propose to the Senate to join a nationwide city initiative for more 30 km/h speed zones."

Lower speed limit for increased traffic safety

The demand for the federal government is that local authorities should be able to decide for themselves where they need speed limits. Until now, Jarasch explained, this was made extremely difficult by the existing federal traffic regulations. "But if we in Berlin could decide based on our own criteria where speed limits are needed, we could do a great deal for road safety, and we could do it quickly and without major expense," Jarasch said. "If we don't reducde the number of cars on the road and the maximum speed limit, we won't be able to achieve Vision Zero." Vision Zero refers to the goal of reducing the number of traffic fatalities to zero, if possible.

Safety at intersections to be increased

According to Jarasch, another important issue is to increase safety at intersections - "not after the fact, when a fatal accident has already happened, but preventively," she stated. "The accident commission systematically works on 30 intersections every year and also investigates all fatal accidents."

Fewer cars and better conditions for cyclists and pedestrians

It is clear, however, that there will be no decisive progress in road safety without a more wide-ranging change in mobility. On this topic, Jarasch explained: "Everything we do to chan ge mobilityalso serves traffic safety - this includes safer bike lanes, better conditions for pedestrians, more crosswalks, and separated traffic light circuits, for example." This also goes hand in hand with the goal of fewer cars and commercial transport that relies as much as possible on rail and water transport, e-transporters and, in neighborhoods, cargo bikes. "Most fatal accidents are right-turn accidents comitted by trucks without assistance systems. We have to get away from this kind of logistics in the inner city," the senator said.

Road safety in Berlin as a personal motivation

"Ensuring road safety in Berlin is something that drives me personally. I have been to far too many vigils for cyclists nd pedestrians who have been killed in traffic" Jarasch said. "I would like to see a future where there is no need for vigils because there are no more traffic fatalities. But I know that's a goal we can only ever strive for and may never finally achieve."

Author: dpa/
Publication date: 14 March 2022
Last updated: 14 March 2022

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