Det nya hastighetssystemet: fokusgruppsintervjuer på landsbygd och i tätort

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Inger Forsberg
Martin Ullberg
Helena Svensson

The rules governing the regulation of driving speed in Sweden have been in force since 1971 outside the urban area, and since 1955 in urban areas. In order to better adapt the speed limits to the current situation and in accordance with the Vision Zero, the Parliament decided in 2007 to introduce a more flexible speed limit system with ten steps (30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 100, 110 and 120 km/h). The purpose of the new speed limit was that it would be perceived as more logical than before. This should in itself increase its acceptance among road users. If all road users respect the speed limits then approximately 150 lives would be saved each year. In addition to saving lives, a reduction in speed would reduce the emission of carbon dioxide by about 700 000 tonnes. Work to review and implement the new speed limits began in 2008 and will affect about 20 000 km of roads. The present study aimed to elicit the views of different road user groups and residents along the roads using a qualitative approach. The study was conducted in rural and urban areas where the new speed limits had been implemented. Questions were: 'What is the experience of the new speed limits?' 'Is there a difference of opinion between road users in rural and urban areas?' and 'Is there a difference of opinion between road user groups?' Two focus groups were conducted with residents in rural areas. The first focused on vulnerable road users and the other on the situation of the residents. In an urban area three focus groups were used that discussed a speed limit reduction from 50 to 40 km/h. The focus groups involved vulnerable road users, bus drivers and taxi drivers.

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