A At the initiative of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Transport, which was led by the FPÖ at the time, the motorway operator ASFINAG started a new pilot project on August 1, 2018: on a total of 120 kilometers of the A1 West motorway, the maximum speed allowed was increased to 140 km /h in two sections. Tempo 140 only applies if the road conditions are optimal, only between 5 a.m. and 10 p.m. and only for cars.
Tempo 140 only under optimal conditions
The selection of the two new 140- km /h ranges from Melk to Oed and Haid to Sattledt were carried out together with external traffic safety experts. In terms of curve radii, slopes or visibility, the best conditions are there. In addition, there are no motorway junctions or busy entrances and exits in these areas that could disrupt the flow of traffic. The beginning and end of Tempo 140 were indicated by traffic signs in these sections.
With the pilot project Austria wanted to gain experience with an increased speed limit. The current motorway speed limit of 130 km /h dates from the 1970s. Since then, the roads and the cars have become much safer. The aim is to shorten travel times - but only if the higher speed limit does not have a negative impact on road safety. Anyone who exceeded the new speed limit of 140 km /h had to expect a fine of 30 to 2,180 euros.
New government, new direction
The new Austrian Environment Minister Leonore Gewessler has now ended this pilot. 'Higher speed leads to higher environmental pollution.' Tempo 140 was a step in the wrong direction, 'because every additional ton of CO2 is one ton too much,' the broadcaster ORF quoted the Green politician as saying. A coalition of conservative ÖVP and Greens has been in power in Austria since January; the FPÖ, which initiated the pilot project, is no longer involved in the government.