Dutch Highway Speed Limit Lowered To 100km/h For Environmental Reasons

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The Dutch ruling party, libertarian-conservative free-market capitalist zealots, are not known for their environmental policies. Their opinions are more in line with those of the Australian federal government. Dutch public opinions make them sound more Greta like, but it takes the courts to force them to behave in a responsible manner.

To appease the public and comply with EU regulations, they passed laws regarding emissions and clean air. But enforcement was not in their DNA. The thought that they themselves, the government, should follow the rule of law, did not cross their minds.

Environmentally active NGOs started protesting, resulting in calming language and promises from those responsible — followed predictably by broken promises. More protest, more actions, more promises, more broken promises. Sound familiar to anybody?

The next steps have also been seen before. The environmentalists involve the courts, and win. The powers that be appeal to the good senses of a higher court, and lose. More cases, more losses, more appeals, more losses, up to the highest court, and again the same result.

In short: Environmental activists protest, litigate, win. The powers that be ignore their own promises and the court orders.

Until last year, when the courts declared 15,000 licenses for planned projects void.

Result: panic.

In this case, the issue was too high of nitrogen oxide deposits around protected nature reserves, and around other locations. Road traffic produces just a very tiny bit of the stuff.

To accept lowering the speed limit to a slow, crawling 100 km/h from 6:00am to 7:00pm is extremely painful, but the parliamentary opposition was willing to help with this, because it also lowers CO2 emissions by a lot.

Even taking the right measures for the wrong reasons helps the environment.

Image courtesy TeslaShuttle.co


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Maarten Vinkhuyzen

Grumpy old man. The best thing I did with my life was raising two kids. Only finished primary education, but when you don’t go to school, you have lots of time to read. I switched from accounting to software development and ended my career as system integrator and architect. My 2007 boss got two electric Lotus Elise cars to show policymakers the future direction of energy and transportation. And I have been looking to replace my diesel cars with electric vehicles ever since. At the end of 2019 I succeeded, I replaced my Twingo diesel for a Zoe fully electric.

Maarten Vinkhuyzen has 280 posts and counting. See all posts by Maarten Vinkhuyzen