2 expressway speed limits to be raised to 120 kph
NHK -- Jan 31
Japan's National Police Agency is to raise the speed limits on parts of 2 expressways to 120 kilometers per hour in March on a trial basis.

The new limits will apply to sections of the Shin-Tomei Expressway in Shizuoka Prefecture, central Japan, and the Tohoku Expressway in Iwate Prefecture, northeastern Japan.

Japan's expressway speed limit has remained at 100 kilometers per hour since the country's first expressway opened in 1963.

The police agency in 2017 tentatively raised the speed limits on a section of about 50 kilometers on the Shin-Tomei and another of about 27 kilometers on the Tohoku to 110 kilometers per hour.

The agency surveyed the number of traffic accidents resulting in injury or death that occurred on the sections in the year after the change.

The survey showed the number of such accidents was 10 -- down 8 from the previous year.

The agency also found little change in average speed of vehicles on the sections. It concluded that in terms of traffic safety there was no specific obstacle to raising the limits.

It decided to raise them to 120 kilometers per hour, the basis for the expressways' design in terms of highway safety.

The agency plans to keep the new limits in place for at least one year, examine the results of the trial and decide whether to take the same measure on other expressways.

新東名高速道路の新静岡-森掛川インターチェンジ間と、東北自動車道の花巻南-盛岡南インターチェンジ間のそれぞれ上下線で、今年3月から最高速度が時速120キロに引き上げられることになった。
News sources: NHK, ANNnewsCH
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