Lower speed limit reduces fine-dust pollution

By William GreenLowering motorway speed limits will cut pollution, a new study has claimed.A
speed limit of 100 kilometres an hour on motorways significantly
reduces fine-dust pollution, a study by Graz Technical University has
concluded.The newspapers Kleine Zeitung and Kronen Zeitung
reported today (Thurs) that the study had shown that periods of lower
speed limits on the southern (A2) and Pyhrn (A9) motorways in the
greater Graz area had resulted in less fine-dust (PM 10) pollution.The
study found that there had been 450 kilos of less fine-dust pollution
during the 6,936 hours when the lower speed limit was in force between
15 December 2008 and 15 October 2009.The lower speed limit also
resulted in the emission of 2.3 million fewer kilos of carbon dioxide
(CO 2) and of 16,000 fewer kilos of nitrogen oxide (NOx), the study
claimed.In addition, the lower speed limited resulted in consumption of 850,000 fewer litres of fuel, saving drivers 955,000 Euros.The
study also noted that the 450 kilos of fine-dust, if spread evenly over
the surface of Graz, would raise fine-dust pollution to a height of 70
metres from zero to 50 micrograms per cubic metre, the legal limit on
that form of pollution.The Austrian Traffic Club (VCÖ) and the
Federal Environment Office (UBA) reported at the end of 2008 that
particulate matter or so-called fine dust remained excessively high in
eight Austrian cities.Graz continued to be the worst offender
in 2008, followed by Vienna, Salzburg, Klagenfurt, Leibnitz, Köflach
and Wolfsberg. Lustenau in the Rhine Valley had had 28 days with
excessive levels of particulate matter as of the end of October.VCÖ
official Martin Blum said: “Medical studies and physicians have warned
excessive amounts of particulate matter in the air can lead to asthma,
bronchitis and circulatory problems, especially in the case of