The speed limit on Route 6, the trans-Israel highway, will be raised Wednesday to 120 kilometers per hour (75 mph), Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz announced.
The hike makes Route 6 the highway with the highest speed limit in the country, and could pave the way for future speed limit increases on other roads.
“Raising the speed on highways and intercity roads is being carried out within the framework of the adoption of new guidelines for determining the travel speed in Israel that were put together by a professional team of road and safety engineers,” Katz said. “Within that framework, the speed limit on each road will be adjusted in accordance with the road conditions.”
Over the last 12 months, the Cross Israel Highway Company, which manages Route 6, has made many safety improvements along the north-south toll road, including refurbishing safety barriers, laying down rumble strips along the shoulders of the road, and installing reflective lane markers on some sections.
Initially, the speed limit will be raised on the section of the road from Iron Interchange in the north to the Hadid tunnel in the south. The Transportation Ministry plans to raise the limit in the southern sections of the road in the future.
The ministry noted figures that show that there was no negative impact on safety issues after in 2011 the speed was raised from 100 kph (62.5 mph) to 110 kph (68.75 mph) on some roads. In some cases, there was even a drop in the number of accidents, the ministry said.
Officials plan to increase the speed limit on other highways that meet safety standards and to improve conditions on other roads to enable a similar upping of the limit.
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