The Icelandic Road Administration has decided to reduce the speed limit to 50 kph [31 mph] on all single-lane bridges throughout the country, Vísir reports. There are 75 single-lane bridges in Iceland and it’s estimated that the cost of changing the speed limit signage for each of them will cost between ISK 70 – 80 million [$581,108; €506,170]. The resulting safety benefits, however, are expected to be worth the expense.
The Road Administration’s decision comes in the wake of the fatal car accident at Núpsvötn at the end of December in which three tourists—including one child—lost their lives when their vehicle went through the railing on a single-lane bridge.
The country’s 75 single-lane bridges are highly trafficked: it’s estimated that more than 300 cars cross single-lane bridges every day in Iceland. This makes sense, given that about half of them are located along the Ring Road. In addition to changing out the speed limit signage, the Road Administration will add English signage at the crossings to ensure that foreign travelers take appropriate safety precautions. They will be reviewing speed limits on roads throughout the country and either reducing speed limits as deemed necessary or installing additional speed limit signage. There will also be an assessment of bridge conditions on main and connecting roads and improvements made according to need and budgetary limitations.
All combined, these improvements are intended to increase driver safety throughout the country, but the Road Administration urges travelers to remember the “Golden Rule” that always applies while driving: adjust your speed according to what is safe given current road conditions, not simply the posted speed limit.