In fact, fast driving not only poses a threat to human life but also has a bad impact on the environment, foreign media reported. In response, the Netherlands limited its national speed limit to 100 km/h in order to control emissions. Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced wednesday local time that the move is part of a contingency plan to reduce harmful nitrogen pollution.
The Netherlands is relatively small and densely populated, and its nitrogen pollution has exceeded the EU’s limit for years – four times the average.
A recent court order in the country halted thousands of construction projects to curb growing pollution, while reducing speed limits was aimed at reducing other sources of nitrogen oxides.
It is estimated that about 61% of nitrogen pollution in the Netherlands comes from agricultural activities. Fertilizer and sewage are the main factors, as are animals. The government will also work to limit the protein content in livestock feed in order to control the ammonia content in animal urine.
In addition to agriculture, similar pollution comes from cars, trucks and heavy equipment. It is clear that even in such a small country, such a national speed limit may not be popular with motorists.
“It’s a bad move, no one likes it, but it’s in the greater interest,” Rute said. As the Netherlands continues to struggle to comply with EU demands, it is likely to announce more measures to curb pollution in the future.