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Lower speed limit suggested on ‘unforgiving’ Periférico

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A “choque” on Mérida’s loop is a common sight. Photo: Sipse

Mérida, Yucatán — With half of all traffic accidents on the Periférico linked to speeding, traffic engineer René Flores Ayora has what may seem a sensible idea.

The auditor for the National Center for the Prevention of Accidents is calling for a speed limit of 80 kilometers per hour/50 miles per hour, down from the current limit of 90 kph/55 mph.

Local newspapers reports from January to October count 13 deaths on the highway that loops around the Yucatecan capital. No data was available on the official number of accidents, injuries and the extent of damage this year on the 50-kilometer ring road first built in the 1970s.

Just this week, a 14-vehicle pileup was reported on the highway, and speeding was blamed. Flores said that if the ground had been wet, “rest assured that could have been like 50” cars.

Flores also suggested that the state police return to using radar to measure how fast drivers are going. Better road markings to indicate lanes and directions would also help bring order to the roads, he said.

Drivers are tailing each other too closely, Flores also complained. Cars traveling 80 kph should be at a distance of 64 meters, he said. But today, cars are practically stuck to each other, he said.

Flores also called for a return to electronic screens with messages encouraging accident prevention.

“The Periférico de Mérida is already very dangerous. I call it ‘the road that does not forgive,'” he said, noting trees and light poles with large foundations, which are often fatal when struck at high speed.

A person dies every day and-a-half on Yucatán’s roads, said the traffic engineer.

With information from Diario de Yucatán

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