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Traffic safety versus accessibility: Investigating resistance against speed limit reductions
Mid Sweden University, Department of Communication, Quality Management, and Information Systems, 851 70 Sundsvall, Sweden.
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Computer Science, Electrical and Space Engineering, Digital Services and Systems. Mid Sweden University, Department of Communication, Quality Management, and Information Systems, 851 70 Sundsvall, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4869-5094
Mid Sweden University, Department of Communication, Quality Management, and Information Systems, 851 70 Sundsvall, Sweden.
2024 (English)In: Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, ISSN 0965-8564, E-ISSN 1879-2375, Vol. 179, article id 103920Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

For traffic safety reasons, Sweden has lowered speed limits on major roads that lack directional separation of traffic. For some of these roads, regional authorities, municipalities, and other local stakeholders have sent appeals to the government opposing the implemented speed limit reductions. The appeals have mainly referred to negative effects on regional development and have suggested that the speed limit reductions be abandoned. This paper identifies the characteristics of roads where appeals against speed limit reductions have been filed and where local stakeholders claim that speed limit reductions are a threat to accessibility and regional development. The results of logistic regression modelling show that appeals are more likely for speed limit reductions on long road sections, on European roads, and in areas with a state university, and less likely in areas with high population density and areas defined as vulnerable by the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth. We investigated these policy conflicts using frame theory. In this paper, we identify two policy frames: speed limits for traffic safety and speed limits for regional development. These two policy frames are related to different views on how to best strive towards regional accessibility and safety goals in remote areas. The different views are likely not easily aligned by more information or facts since they concern deeper questions, such as what constitutes basic accessibility of good quality and how large risks are acceptable on the road network. This study thus uncovers not only a policy disagreement but a policy controversy in the Swedish context.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2024. Vol. 179, article id 103920
Keywords [en]
Road speed limits, Accessibility, Regional development, Goal conflict, Transportation policy, Policy conflict
National Category
Vehicle Engineering
Research subject
Information Systems
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-103260DOI: 10.1016/j.tra.2023.103920ISI: 001131713800001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85178658432OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-103260DiVA, id: diva2:1817969
Funder
Swedish Transport Administration, TRV 2021/52220
Note

Validerad;2023;Nivå 2;2023-12-08 (joosat);

License fulltext: CC BY

Available from: 2023-12-08 Created: 2023-12-08 Last updated: 2024-04-02Bibliographically approved

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Große, Christine

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