10 September 2020

Participants of the International Forum in Sochi discussed conditions for increasing the speed limit up to 150 km/h

The means for ensuring safety on highways allowing to drive at a speed of 150 kilometers per hour were discussed at one of the sessions within the International Forum "Innovative Technologies and Intelligent Transport Systems in Road Construction".
The session was attended by the representatives of the Ministry of Transport, Avtodor State Company, Federal Road Agency, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, deputies of the State Duma of the Russian Federation, designers and experts.

According to Igor Astakhov, Deputy Chairman of the Board for Operation and Traffic Safety of Avtodor State Company, there are 1.5 million highways in the country, only 6,200 kilometers of which are classified as IA, IB, which can be considered for increasing the speed limit.

— "It is clear that these roads are the most busy and intense, in demand in the country, both cargo and people are transported along them — these are different categories of road users. Someone wants to get from St. Petersburg to the Black Sea quickly, someone wants to drive 5 kilometers safely to the working place. It is important to consider the opinion of all user categories", Igor Astakhov noted.

The latest developments and intelligent transport systems (ITS), new approaches to highway design will help make highways in Russia safe and fast-speed.

Andrey Kazantsev, Director of the Department of Operation and Traffic Safety outlined the main criteria for making a decision to increase the speed limit up to 110-130 km/h are: separation of traffic flows, availability of an automated traffic control system (security cameras, incident detection systems, weather stations, TPI), the minimum length of a section shall be 10 kilometers, etc.

Oleg Ponaryin, Deputy Head of the Road Traffic Inspectorate, believes that the speed should be reasonable, and that it is important to try to increase not the instant permitted speed, but the overall speed between settlements, with obligatory introduction of increased technical requirements: artificial lighting and wide roadsides.

Anton Kozlov, Deputy Head of the Department for Construction and Operation of Highways of the Federal Road Agency raised an issue of legal regulation to increase the speed limit up to 150 km/h. He reminded that the allowed tolerance not subject to fine is now 20 km/h. And if we take this into account, then where it is allowed to drive at a speed of 150 km/h, a number of drivers may reach a speed of 170 km/h, however, not all highways are designed for such speeds. There are zebra crosswalks on such roads, there is no modern driver notification system warning about accidents and possible emergencies on the road, taking into account the fact that the car passes 200 meters in 5 seconds at a speed of 150 km/h.

A list of recommended amendments to GOST 52289 (note: GOST R 52289-2019 Technical means of traffic management. Rules for the Use of Road Signs, Road Surface Markings, Traffic Lights, Road Guardrails and Guiding Devices) was also announced, prepared by Ivan Nemov, Product Director of Zavod Prodmash OJSC. Mr. Nemov said the main amendments included review of the holding capacity requirements, installation of barriers or front guardrails, as well as transition from recommendatory to mandatory use of front guardrails in high hazard places, and introduction of a barrier guardrail working section minimum length definition.

Aleksandr Kraynik, Deputy Technical Director and Chief Engineer of Moscow branch of Stroyproekt JSC Institute supported the idea of changing the design documentation, clarifying that for the design of new roads and the reconstruction of old ones, taking into account an increase in the speed limit, it is important to include a schedule for evaluating design solutions in the design documentation, with mandatory presentation of the speed of a single vehicle, the speed of traffic and mandatory verification of the clear vision distance.

Aleksandr Vasiliev, member of the State Duma, leader of the interregional public movement for the transport system development "Destroyed Roads" recalled the experience of other countries in introduction of high-speed modes. He also shared his impressions of traveling by Russian highways, and made his suggestions. For example, he considers it necessary to make rest sites larger, and allocate special places for heavy trucks.

According to Boris Anokhin, Chief Expert of the Department of Transport and Operational Qualities of Highways of "Rosdornii" Federal Autonomous Institution, many documents were analysed, such as key regulations, Federal laws, AMITA (European Agreement on Main International Traffic Arteries), and on their grounds this standard was proposed in order to organize and ensure road traffic safety.