Spain imposes new speed limit in energy-saving bid
Wednesday 09 March 2011
Drivers throughout Spain were forced to slow down on Monday as a new speed limit took effect aimed at cutting fuel consumption in response to the spike in oil prices due to unrest in the Arab world.
From 6:00 am Monday, the maximum speed on motorways was 110 kilometres (68 miles) per hour instead of 120 kph, a restriction that is to remain in place for at least four months.
Transport ministry workers overnight placed new "110" stickers on some 6,000 speed-limit signs across the country, and radar traps were updated.
Those exceeding the limit and driving below 140 kph are subject to a fine of 100 euros. Those driving faster than 140 kph will face a 300 euro fine.
Some 69 percent of Spaniards disapprove of the measure, according to a poll in the El Pais newspaper.
Spain's two-time Formula One world champion Fernando Alonso has also blasted the new limit, warning that it will be "difficult to stay awake" at this speed.
The government announced Friday it was lowering the speed limit on motorways as of March 7 as part of measures to reduce the country's fuel bill in response to the rise in world oil prices due to unrest in the Middle East, particularly the upheavals in Libya.
Alongside the lower speed limit, Spain will cut the price of commuter and short-distance rail tickets by 5.0 percent and increase the proportion of bio-fuel used in diesel and gasoline from 5.8 percent to 7.0 percent.
Spain is almost completely dependent on imported fuel for road transport, although a fifth of its electricity output is generated by wind power, and the spike in oil prices has added to pressures on inflation and the trade deficit.
Each increase of 10 euros in the cost of a barrel of oil adds some six billion euros ($8.3 billion) to Spain's annual energy bill, according to government calculations.
World oil prices shot higher Monday, with New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in April, hitting $106.82 a barrel - the highest level since September 2008.
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
- 1 Isis propaganda video shows 25 Syrian soldiers executed by teenage militants in Palmyra
- 2 Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
- 3 The map showing the most dangerous tourist destinations in Europe, according to the Foreign Office
- 4 Right to die: Belgian doctors rule depressed 24-year-old woman has right to end her life
- 5 The biggest first date turnoff has been revealed
Are plastic planes the future of flight? Heathrow expansion reopens debate over aviation's effects on the environment
Top 10 zoos in Europe, according to TripAdvisor
Inside Travel: Greece 2015 Q&A - should we cancel our Greek holiday? Are our flights safe? And what will we be spending there?
The most powerful passports in the world
The 10 Best lightweight luggage
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To support their continued grow...
£33000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A global player and world leade...
£18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are friendly, sociable, ...
£22300 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This museum group is looking for a Payro...