national

Japan to raise speed limit on parts of two expressways to 110 kph

32 Comments

Japan plans to raise the speed limit on sections of two expressways from the current 100 kilometers per hour to 110 kilometers per hour during a trial period, the National Police Agency (NPA) announced Thursday.

The speed limit for vehicles (excluding trucks and semitrailers) will be raised on parts of the Shintomei Expressway between Shin-Shizuoka and the Morikakegawa Interchange, and between Hanamakiminami and the Morioka-Minami Interchange along the Tohuku Expressway in northeastern Japan, Fuji TV reported. The trial will take place next year and continue for about a year.

If the accident rate is low during the trial period, the NPA says it will raise the speed limit further to 120 kilometers per hour, Fuji TV reported.

The speed limit on Japan’s expressways has not been raised since 1963.

© Japan Today

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

32 Comments
Login to comment

about time!

7 ( +11 / -4 )

Everyone goes at least 120 km anyway...

12 ( +14 / -2 )

The speed limit on Japan’s expressways has not been raised since 1963.

Not sure anything has changed since 1963 :)

7 ( +9 / -2 )

"If the accident rate is low during the trial period, the NPA says it will raise the speed limit further to 120 kilometers per hour, Fuji TV reported."

So, it's an experiment in human lives? How about if it's high? "Shucks darn! Gotta keep it where it is!" And if it's low, they're going to keep raising it until the accident rate is higher?

Stephen Knight:

"Everyone goes at least 120 km anyway..."

Because they know they can go above the current limit by a certain amount and likely not get caught. So if raised to 110 or 120 it's not like they're going to slow down or keep going the same pace, they'll just speed up even more.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

I see. So instead of going 130 like now, everybody is going to up their speed to 140.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Just now there seems to be little 'revenue-raising' mentality on the part of the police (though freeway tolls are a different issue).

Am I cynical in suspecting that raising speed limits could cause all those very visible speed cameras to have their red flashing lights on top to be switched on (presently not as it is reported that maintaining them costs too much)? As well, enforcement of new speed limits by other means.

I was stopped earlier this year in the tunnel approaching the Akashi Bridge in Kobe doing 107, they said, in an 80 kph zone. All I could think was 'Is that all?' Last I saw my speedo it was 130. Still lots of people really sped past while I sat in the cops' really clean Crown. I wondered if they noticed or cared. Anyway, last they said was that I would not lose any points.

Go figure! Now, why do I suspect it is all going to change?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Gobshite

The performance of cars in general had advance exponentially compared to 1963.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

That's about 75mph. Motorway speed limits in the UK are 70mph... although I'm terrified to drive on a motorway and have never gone faster than 45mph haha

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I don't think this is much of a problem from a safety perspective, assuming people don't drive at 110kph plus alpha during a typhoon or a blizzard, but cars use much more fuel at high speeds. This isn't good for the environment, something we are supposed to care about.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

We're still stuck at 80km down here on Okinawa. When are they going to raise it here?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

So, it's an experiment in human lives?

How so?

Compared with 1963, car tyres are nearly twice as wide, and rated to exceed the car's maximum speed. Add stuff like ABS, and braking distances are a fraction of what they were 53 years ago.

And that's before factoring in seatbelts (fitting them to vehicles wasn't compulsory here until 1969; wearing them on the expressway was only mandated in 1985), crumple zones, airbags and all the other safety tech.

Yes, speed can kill, but expressways are eminently safer than other roads, as evidenced by the (largely speed limit-free) autobahn's 1.9 deaths per billion-travel-kilometers, compared to 6.6 deaths for rural, and 4.7 deaths for urban roads.

I have fond memories of renting a minibus in Europe to bring a Japanese friend's mother and her chums to his wedding. There was a huge old tachograph speedo bang in the middle of the dashboard with a thick black needle and bold digits. They absolutely freaked out when they saw I was doing 130 kph!

The sky didn't fall in, though. We didn't die, and we all got to the wedding in one piece.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seat_belt_legislation https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speed_limits_in_Germany#Accident_statistics

6 ( +6 / -0 )

It's 130Km/h in France but the German Autobahn has NO speed limits.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yes, about time, and this should be rolled out to similar safe stretches of interstate expressway throughout the country. Very few cars down where I live compared to the big cities.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

That means they will go at 220kph. It is rule of thumb that whatever the speed limit is, double it.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

German Autobahn has NO speed limits

This isn't exactly true. There are sections of the autobahn that have speed limits. I watch Top Gear :)

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Speed doesn't kill! Not paying attention does.

So how come it's not OK to speak on a cell phone, but it's OK to have AND WATCH a TV in your car while driving?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Finally!!!! Though 110km/h is still below a lot of countries but at least it's a start.

One thing I have noticed while driving is lack of lane sense. Quite often I see slow traffic driving in all lanes slowing everyone down.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The first car I drove in Japan would make a dinging sound incessantly if you drove over 100 kph. That drove me nuts. I tried to drive at exactly 99kph to keep it from going off.

The current speed limit on many "express" ways is a joke.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The first car I drove in Japan would make a dinging sound incessantly if you drove over 100 kph. That drove me nuts. I tried to drive at exactly 99kph to keep it from going off.

Lots of car shops used to disable those as a customer service. They were annoying.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The first car I drove in Japan would make a dinging sound incessantly if you drove over 100 kph.

Ha ha! My kei car at the time had that. Then I got the chance to upgrade to a Crown, which had a very discreet, tolerable beep. Control mechanisms, eh.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I just wonder why they try to raise the speed limit. If speed limit was raised to 110kph, 120,,,,,, someday 200, potential accidents would be much more critical and drivers and passengers life would be much more fatal than ever. Slower speed seems safer as humans always make mistakes.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Slower speed seems safer as humans always make mistakes.

Please grip both handrails firmly when using the escalator.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

And now everyone will just do 130 cause right now everyone does 120. The faster the speed the greater the chance of death during crash.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Thunderbird2OCT. 13, 2016 - 05:26PM JST That's about 75mph.

No. 110KPH is just under 69MPH. 120KPH, the next step up if 110KPH isn't too lethal, is 75MPH.

SenseNotSoCommonOCT. 13, 2016 - 06:20PM JST Yes, speed can kill, but expressways are eminently safer than other roads, as evidenced by the (largely speed limit-free) autobahn's 1.9 deaths per billion-travel-kilometers, compared to 6.6 deaths for rural, and 4.7 deaths for urban roads.

The Autobahn, as with most freeways in the States and Canada, are rarely the narrow raised affairs that are the kosukudoro.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The Autobahn, as with most freeways in the States and Canada, are rarely the narrow raised affairs that are the kosukudoro.

Neither are the two highways that their actually thinking of increasing the speed limit on. The shintomei is a wide affair.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Why go so fast? You get better mileage going at 85km/h

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Finally!!!! Though 110km/h is still below a lot of countries but at least it's a start.

Parts of I-15 in Utah in the US has speed limit of 136km/h. I didn't feel the urge to go that fast, because the thought of burning more fuel than I need to turns me off.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Why go fast? Because there is a huge truck taligaiting 2 metres behind you.

It should be noted that the top speed of Japanese cars in Japan is 180kph. They have a limiter. On the autobahns some cars go weel in excess of the speed. The most noticeable difference is that if you approach a Porsche from behind in a Prius or anything else on the autobahn, the Porsche will pull over. In Japan I am amazed by the amount of overtaking on the inside, which is a definite no-no on motorways in my country, because someone insists on going at the speed limit n the fast lane and refuses to pull over.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Gaijintraveller nails it. A lot of the congestion on the kosoku is from a lack of lane discipline.

All traffic should use the inside lane except when overtaking, and those hogging the middle lane fined. This would end the very dangerous practice of undertakers passing on the inside.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This is good news, hopefully it's the start of a general raising of speed limits on expressways around Japan. One expressway I often use, the Ken-O Expressway, is a just built, mostly straight, not particularly difficult road, but the speed limit signs are always set to 80Km/h, sometimes 50!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I can't help but think the low speed limit is why there are so many accidents. No one here uses the passing lane to pass. The "fast" folks drive in the passing lane and god help anyone who drives slow in that lane as they will have a car on their bumper and basically be scared to death so will move over into the "slow" lane. The folks driving 60-80 are the cause of road rage and why no one uses the lanes to pass. I am guilty of this myself. Once in the passing lane, I will stay there because a) the ones in the slow lane drive like they are out for a sunday drive and b) if you dare to use the passing lane for passing, once stuck in the slow lane, you're never getting back into the passing lane because it is a stream of cars doing 120. Road rage builds up and people tailgate. Why the limits haven't been changed in decades is, while not shocking, just Japan in a nutshell.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

GaijindesuOCT. 14, 2016 - 08:38AM JST Parts of I-15 in Utah in the US has speed limit of 136km/h. I didn't feel the urge to go that fast, because the thought of burning more fuel than I need to turns me off.

Drove that a few years ago coming north from Arizona. Scared the crap out of me as all the semis were doing 80+. Madness.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites