The Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Road Administration propose to raise the speed limit on four-lane motorways to 120 kph and on two-lane motorways to 100 kph.
The current Traffic Act allows for raising the speed limit to 120 kph, so the proposed amendment of the ministerial regulation specifies the speed limit on a motorway with a median strip raised to 120 kph from 110 kph.
The aim of raising the speed limit is to improve safety on roads that see heavy traffic - slower speeds increase dangerous overtaking.
The bill does not specify what periods the speed limit can be raised. Previously the top speeds - 110 kph on divided highways and 100 kph on some two-lane roads - only applied from May to September. (The 100 kph seasonal change on two-lane roads was discontinued a few years back and the speed limit is currently 90 kph year-round.)
One of the drafters of the proposed regulation, Road Administration advisor Villo Vane told uudised.err.ee that the document is temporary and only meant to replace an outdated section of the Traffic Act. Once a thorough study has been conducted, expected by the end of this year, the amendment is likley to be updated.
The study should also provide an answer to the issue of speed limits on gravel roads, currently at 90 kph, although there have been suggestions to reduce it by 10-20 kph.
The new regulation proposes increased use of electronic signs and more flexible regulation that takes weather conditions into account.
Another important change is increasing the required overtaking visibility from 400 meters to 700 meters.
The draft amendment is scheduled to be approved by June 17 and will take force after government’s approval.