Merida, Yucatan — Speed limits recently posted on the ring road that surrounds most of the city are unsafe, a road-safety analyst said.
The logic of transit engineer René Flores Ayora is that at lower speeds mean fewer road accidents on the Periferico de Mérida. So he recommends an 80-kph / 50 mph speed limit on the loop.
But a few days ago, lanes on the Periferico were painted to allow 90 kph limit, roughly 56 mph, on the middle and left lanes. An 80-kph limit is on the right lane for heavy trucks. The speed limits are established by the Yucatan transit authority.
The minimum speed is 70 kph, except for in the right lane, which is 60 kph.
A Diario de Yucatan reporter recently took to the road to gauge traffic. Driving legally in the center lane at 90, most cars passed him. Most vehicles, including motorcycles, appeared to be exceeding 100 kph / 62 mph.
Flores Ayora says that speed is a determining factor in 35 percent of fatal traffic crashes here.
“It is imperative that the maximum speed in the Periferico is 80 kph,” he said.
So far this year, 12 lives have been lost on the Periferico. Of the deceased, five were automobile drivers, four were pedestrians and three were motorcyclists.
Lowering the average speed by five percent can results in 30 percent fewer road fatalities, he said.
“Here, reducing speed is an action that would help to have zero deaths due to traffic accidents.”
When Sweden and Hungary recently temporarily reduced their speed limits from 90 to 80 kilometers per hour, the result was a 41-percent reduction in traffic fatalities.
Source: Diario de Yucatan