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Spain to lose 500mln Euros in Tax due to reduced speed limits

Source: El Pais - Tue 1st Mar 2011

The government's recent measure to reduce the speed limit on Spain's motorways from to 110 from 120 km/h has caused more debate over the last few days. The Prime Minister, currently in Qatar, approved of the move and said how he belived that all Spaniards would do likewise, which was seen when the shake-up of the points system resulted in increased road safety.

The Deputy PM, apparently viewed things slightly differently: "We understand that it will not increase road safety, strictly speaking, but it will affect consumption and energy saving."

Various Drivers associations have spoke out against the , saying how it may actually have the opposite effect, as witnessed when the speed limit was dropped to 100 km/h in 1976 during another oil crisis. Accidents actually increased on Spanish roads during the 1976-1981 period.

The PP has also critisised the government scheme, with spokesman Esteban González Pons describing it as "Soviet", and drew attention to the 250,000 euro that it would cost just to re-issue an estimated 6'000 new speed limit warning signs for Spain's motorway network.

"It's just a case of putting a sticker up," the Industry Ministry responded. The government estimates the speed reduction will save almost 1.5 billion euros in oil imports, but that will be offset by a loss of 500 million euros in tax income.

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