Photo by Flickr user FOTOLOO. Creative Commons licence.
The sign on this autoroute (motorway) in France shows a speed limit of 110 km/hr (68 mph), fairly standard for autoroutes in and around cities. The normal limit elsewhere is 130 (81) but reducing to 110 if it is raining.
There have been suggestions by many organisations that the limit should be a maximum of 110 on all autoroutes to conserve fuel, but the idea seemed to have been buried. Until now.
The region of Alsace has opened discussions with the Minister for Ecology to test the possibility in that area. Alsace has relatively few kilometres of autoroutes and it is thought that it would be an ideal place to try out new regulations.
I can still remember the speed limits in the UK being reduced in response to an oil crisis, and having looked it up it was in 1974. This was of course to conserve fuel rather than to protect the environment. I wasn't driving then, so I don't remember how compliant people were.
It will be interesting to see how well received this is in France. My initial reaction is that it won't be at all popular, though I must say drivers are much better disciplined than they used to be. My first introduction to driving in France was around Paris. It was a nightmare. I've never been the same since!