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Latvia opens longest new road since independence
LATVIA. The longest stretch of road built since Latvia’s independence in 1991 opened yesterday. The two-lane P80 runs 40 miles from Tinuzi, south east of capital Riga, to Koknese (see on map). It will relieve some traffic from the A6 Riga-Daugavpils motorway. Separately, Latvian State Roads is warning about truck queues at the Russian border. On the A12 Terehova checkpoint there was a 180 truck, 10 hour queue yesterday. On the A13 Grebneva crossing there was a two hour, 20 truck wait (there were no queues at P68 Silene, and A6 Paternieki crossing with Belarus). It’s not clear yet if the Russian Federal Customs Service has introduced new rules at the border as it has done recently with vehicles from Ukraine and Lithuania.
Poland suspends Schengen and mulls radical road safety measures.
Some radical interventions are under consideration to tackle the country’s heinous road safety record: 11.4 fatalities per 100,000 population compared to neighbouring Germany’s 4.7.
The recent All Saints’ long weekend saw 38 deaths and 1,298 arrests for drink driving which surpassed last year’s total despite the holiday being one day shorter.
The condition of the roads is a factor, shortly to be addressed with a massive road building programme.
Apart from higher fines, possibly making them proportionate to income, and awareness education, according to CSM schemes include ‘intelligent speed adaptation’ – GPS-enforced speed limits – mandatory alcolocks and clearing away the majority of signs, the so-called ‘shared space’ concept pioneered in the UK and the Netherlands.