SWOV Catalogus


30 km/h zones. [Formerly known as: Zones 30 : urban residential areas.]
C 35228 [electronic version only] /73 / ITRD E208685

The Hague, SWOV Institute for Road Safety Research, 2018, Pp., 25 ref.; SWOV Fact sheet

Samenvatting A 30 km/h zone is also known as a ‘zone 30’ or a 'residential area'. The zone is mostly situated within an urban area and consists of connected access roads with a 30 km/h speed limit. The areas have a residential function where slow traffic and motorized traffic mix. For this reason speeds must be low (30 km/h maximum). For example, infrastructural measures at both road sections and intersections (think of humps, plateaus and road narrowings) can be used to realize such a low speed. In fact, many areas have been given a sober layout, sometimes with a ‘Zone 30’ traffic sign only, sometimes with just speed-reducing measures at 'dangerous' locations such as intersections. Compared to 50 km/h roads, a well-designed 30 km/h zone has a positive road safety effect. The risk of a fatal crash is very small at a maximum speed of 30 km/h. However, relatively many casualties occur in these zones, about 6% of the total number of road deaths, mainly cyclists and elderly road users. This is presumably due to the fact that motorized traffic often drives (much) faster than the limit. Measures to improve safety in 30 km/h zones and 30 km/h roads will therefore need to focus especially on reducing the speeds driven, for example by giving the zones a suitable and therefore less ‘sober’ layout, by making the 30-limit more credible and, where still necessary, by traffic enforcement.
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