Following new speeding rules called hastighedsbekendtgørelsen, which were introduced by the Ministry of Transport on 6th January 2022, 16 municipalities in Denmark have been allowed to lower local speed limits from 50 to 40 kilometres per hour on selected sections in urban areas.
This can be done without asking the police for permission and as long as it does not have a significant impact on the general traffic flow. It is part of a three-year pilot scheme to increase road safety.
On Monday 30th May the Technical and Environmental Committee in Copenhagen will vote on whether to implement the lower speed limit in the capital.
The proposal is for there to be a maximum of 30 kilometres per hour in the entire inner city and 40 kilometres per hour in the outer part of the city, with some major roads maintaining the 50 kilometres per hour speed limit.
“We want to slow down because it can help reduce CO2 emissions. We get better urban space, fewer serious traffic accidents, less air pollution and noise nuisance”, technical and environmental mayor Line Barfoed told DR News.
Dennis Lange from motorist organisation FDM doesn’t agree with Copenhagen’s plans.
“The way the city of Copenhagen wants to do it is wrong. The pilot scheme does not aim to reduce the speed in the entire municipality. It is more about a political aversion to cars and about trying to get cars out”, he told DR News.
If the proposal for speed reductions is voted through on Monday, Copenhagen municipality will start the pilot scheme in Valby, and then roll it out over the rest of the city continuously over the next few years.
In Aalborg, lower speed limits begin this year. The municipality has already selected several stretches of road in the city centre, around schools and public institutions and on roads where there are many cyclists, as well as three villages including Gunderup.
“Hopefully there will be more calm, and we also have an easier time getting out of our driveway”, Gunderup resident Per Stig Larsen told DR News.
“We know that the speed has been a major nuisance for many citizens and has created unsafe conditions. If we can meet them, we want to. It is important to be able to move in a proper way and create better conditions in traffic”, Jan Nymark Thaysen, councillor for the City and Country department told DR News.
In Furesø, road engineer Anne Lisbeth Sørensen told DR News that three zones have been identified where the speed limit can be lowered but the physical work can only start in 2023, as they have not received money for it yet.
The 16 municipalities that are part of the lower speed limit scheme are: Aarhus, Aalborg, Frederiksberg, Allerød, Fredensborg, Frederikssund, Furesø, Gentofte, Hillerød, Hørsholm, Lyngby-Taarbæk, Rudersdal, Odense, Randers, Norddjurs and Copenhagen.