30 km/h Limits Added to Ecuador’s National Law

In Ecuador, Fundación CAVAT are celebrating inclusion of 30 km/h in a new traffic law, that is currently passing through the two chambers of the National Assembly.

The NGO has been advocating specifically for 30 km/h limits for urban areas since 2017, without success, until now. The new traffic law has provided an opportunity to get 30 km/h limits included into national legislation.

The two chambers of the assembly recently approved an amendment to the traffic law that included 30 km/h nationally (among other changes), which it is 30 km/h for residential urban areas and 20 km/h in school areas. The text states that “The Decentralized Autonomous Governments will establish local or residential roads, pacified areas or calm traffic, duly signposted, in which the permitted speed will not exceed 30 km/h. To promote road safety in these areas, measures may be applied to reduce the intensity and speed of vehicles. The maximum speed in school zones will be 20 km/h; in such areas there will be no moderate range.” / “Los Gobiernos Autónomos Descentralizados establecerán vías de carácter local o residencial, zonas pacificadas o de tráfico calmado, debidamente señalizadas, en las que la velocidad permitida no excederá de 30 km/h. Para favorecer la seguridad vial en dichas zonas, se podrá aplicar medidas encaminadas a reducir la intensidad y velocidad de los vehículos. La velocidad máxima en zonas escolares será de 20 km/h; en dichas zonas no existirá un rango moderado.

The amendment was finally accepted in February 2021 when the proposal was formally entered into the National Assembly. The new law, including the clause for 30 km/h limits, has now been sent to Ecuador’s president for approval. Once this approval is received, it will proceed to the official registry to be legislated. CAVAT hopes the approval process will be swift, as the current presidential term comes to an end on the 24 May 2021.

Having worked closely with several Assembly members to gain their commitment to the cause, CAVAT presented the case to Assembly members on three separate occasions to help secure this change to the national law. Emphasis was placed on the importance of reducing speed limits around schools to avoid crashes and fatalities.

The new law is national, imposing a 30 km/h limit for residential urban areas and a 20 km/h limit around school zones.  These locations will be identified and categorized, and the relevant traffic calming measures will be put in place, including signage and public awareness campaigns.  This is an update to the existing national law of Land Transport, Transit and Road Safety which also includes issues such as the wearing of helmets for motorcycles and mopeds, plus adding road safety education to the school curriculum.

Read more about Fundacion CAVAT HERE.