Fleet News

Latvian commissioner proposes m-way limit

IN a political hare-and-tortoise move, a European Commissioner from a country where the Lada once reigned supreme has told speed-loving German motorists that he will press for European Union (EU) speed limits of 90kph (56mph).

Latvia's Andris Piebalgs, Energy Commissioner since last November, told Die Welt newspaper that he supported the idea originally proposed by the Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA). He said: 'When cars in Germany race along the roads at a speed of 200 km per hour, of course they use a lot of petrol.'

And although Mr Piebalgs is not directly responsible for speed limits at the commission - that lies with French Transport Commissioner Jacques Barrot - he has a brief to guarantee the EU's energy supply security, and so could legitimately push debates on the issue in Brussels.

He said: 'The topic of speed limits in Europe should be discussed in the future.'

The IEA will also promote the topic - its officials plan to propose a universal 90kph limit in May at its annual meeting of developed country energy ministers.

Many German motorway stretches have no speed limits, a right enthusiastically embraced by its motorists. Its government had been moving towards imposing speed limits last year, but retreated amidst public protests.

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