Lower Austrian districts dominate traffic death toll

A district in Lower Austria has been identified as the area with the highest likeliness of fatal car crashes.The Austrian Traffic Club (VCÖ) announced today (Thurs) that 2.7 fatalities per 10,000 residents occurred in the district of Scheibbs. This rate makes the region the most dangerous individual traffic zone of the country ahead of Reutte in Tyrol and Tamsweg in Salzburg (1.9 each).The Lower Austrian districts of Mödling and Bruck an der Leitha recorded the highest number of traffic deaths overall with 16 fatalities each last year. Several major motorways run through both districts.Eleven of the 30 most dangerous districts of 2010 are situated in Lower Austria, according to the VCÖ.The organisation appealed to political decision-makers to slash the speed limit for main roads from 100 kilometres per hour (kph) to 80 kph. Referring to regulations in Switzerland, the VCÖ said such a measure could help reduce the number of fatal car accidents.The general speed limit on Austrian motorways is 130 kph but there are a large number of 100 kph zones and some 80 kph around roadwork sites. Motorists must not drive faster than 50 kph in towns and cities of the country. However, special 30 kph limit zones have been set up in hundreds of residential streets.There were 552 traffic fatalities in Austria last year, down by 13 per cent compared to the year before. The number of registered traffic deaths has never been lower since 1961 when officials started keeping uniform nationwide statistics.