Speed limits in the Czech Republic

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Speed limits in the Czech Republic vary depending on the type of road, and whether the road is within a settlement or not. The top speed limit is 130 km/h (81 mph) for motorways outside of settlements, whereas on regular roads within a settlement the speed limit is 50 km/h (31 mph). outside of the settlement and other than motorway the speed limit is 90 km/H. Various other special restrictions are applied for certain types and weight categories of vehicle.

Historical speed limits[edit]

On 29 January 1900, a government ordinance limited the speed of vehicles inside settlements to the velocity of a hand-cantering horse. In 1935, the speed limit inside settlements was set at 35 km/h (22 mph).[1][2] Vehicles with two or more trailers were limited to 35 km/h, while trucks and buses were limited to 50 km/h (31 mph). However, public buses could ask for an exception.

A law in 1950 limited the speed in thick fog to 25 km/h (16 mph) and at level crossings to 15 km/h (9.3 mph).[3] An ordinance introduced in 1953 specified places where speed needs to be slow, i.e. under 15 km/h: along processions, at pedestrian crossings, while the driver is entering the road, near buses or trams, near work places, while the road is oily or while pedestrian traffic is dense.[4]

A law in 1960 limited the speed inside settlements between 5 a.m. and 11 p.m. to 50 km/h (31 mph). Buses and trucks over 3,500 kg (7,700 lb) were limited outside settlements to 80 km/h (50 mph).[5] Also, in 1966, motorcycles were limited to 80 km/h. Long-distance buses were freed from limits. Towed automobiles were limited to 50 km/h.[6]

Speed limits were abolished on motorways (dálnice), even for trucks and motorcycles, in 1971.[7] Furthermore, in 1976, all of the 50 km/h limits were increased to 60 km/h (37 mph). The special limits for motorcycles, trucks and buses were repealed.[8] The ordinance in 1979 was the first to limit speeds outside of settlements. Cars were limited to 90 km/h (56 mph) and 110 km/h (68 mph) on motorways, long-distance buses to 90 km/h, motorcycles and trucks under 6,000 kg (13,000 lb) to 80 km/h (50 mph), trucks over 6000 kg and buses to 70 km/h (43 mph). The limit of 60 km/h (only between 5 a.m. and 11 p.m.) was kept for roads inside settlements.[9]

A limit of 90 km/h (56 mph) and 110 km/h (68 mph) on motorways was established in 1989 for vehicles under 3500 kg and for buses. Furthermore, motorcycles were limited to 90 km/h and all other motor vehicles were limited to 80 km/h (50 mph). The speed inside settlements was limited 60 km/h (37 mph) and 80 km/h on motorways, including at night. Specially signed pedestrian zones and house zones was introduced with a 20 km/h (12 mph) limit.[10]

Ordinance No. 223/1997 Sb., which took effect on October 1, 1997, reduced the settlement limit to 50 km/h (31 mph) and increased the motorway limit to 130 km/h (81 mph), including for motorcycles.[11]

Current speed limits[edit]

Border road sign with general speed limits in the Czech Republic (2016)

As of 2016 there is a difference between CZ traffic sign IZ1a.svg motorways (dálnice) and CZ traffic sign IZ2a.svg roads for motorcars (silnice pro motorová vozidla) and speed limits are set to 130 and 110 km/h (81 and 68 mph) respectively outside of a settlement where speed limit is set to 80 km/h (50 mph). On regular roads speed limit is set to 90 km/h (56 mph) and settlement limit is 50 km/h (31 mph). Inside settlement zone (obytná zóna) marked by a special blue sign the speed limit is set to 20 km/h (12 mph). 50 metres (160 ft) before level crossing with railway the speed is further reduced to 30 km/h (19 mph) or 50 km/h (31 mph) in case of visible flashing of a white traffic light. There are special restrictions for certain kinds of vehicles, especially with weight over 3.5 t (3.4 long tons; 3.9 short tons). The speed limit for towing with a rope or tow bar is 60 km/h (37 mph). Speed limit when a car has chains on is 50 km/h (31 mph). When traveling over a railroad crossing with white flashing lights, the speed limit is 50 km/h (31 mph) and if no lights are working then the speed limit is 30 km/h (19 mph).

Minimum speed limits[edit]

No minimum speed limits are currently in place.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Law No. 81/1935 Sb.
  2. ^ Regulation No. 203/1935 Sb.
  3. ^ Law No. 56/1950 Sb.
  4. ^ Ordinance No. 196/1953 Ú.l.
  5. ^ Ordinance No. 141/1960 Sb. §20
  6. ^ Ordinance No. 80/1966 Sb. §9
  7. ^ Ordinance No. 42/1971 Sb.
  8. ^ Ordinance No. 100/1975 Sb. §12
  9. ^ Ordinance No. 70/1979 Sb.
  10. ^ Ordinance No. 99/1989 Sb. §16
  11. ^ Ordinance No. 223/1997 Sb.