HIGHWAY TRANSPORT AND ENERGY PROBLEMS IN EUROPE

Studies were made in Belgium, France, West Germany, Sweden and Great Britain in order to determine the effects of the world-wide energy situation (resulting from the oil embargo) and subsequent price increases on motor vehicle usage, and to determine the amounts and disposition of motor vehicle user taxes imposed in those countries. The effect of the reduction of speed limits on highway accidents and the highway or non-highway utilization of highway user taxes were also considered. A comparison among countries was made in an effort to determine the transferability to the U.S. of European practices. Each of the five countries is dependent to a major degree upon petroleum as a source of energy, and the transportation sector accounts for a major part of the total petroleum consumption. The measures taken to reduce consumption of motor fuels have included the following. (1) Reduction of speed limits; this reduced consumption only by 1 to 3 percent. (2) Weekend driving bans produced results only during the first few weeks. Rationing, imposed only in Sweden, reduced fuel consumption by 13 percent. A quota system for heating and industrial fuel reduced consumption by 25 percent. (4) The pricing of motor fuels is considered the quickest way of reducing considered the quickest way of reducing consumption. Texas imposed by governments amounted to approximately 50 percent of the retail price of gasoline in all five countries. (5) Switching of goods from road to railroad is not deemed feasible. Consumption areas such as space heating appear to offer better prospects for reducing fuel consumption. Future research should be directed toward reduction in size and weight of vehicles, the development of more efficient enginees, and the development of alternative fuel sources. In all countries the reductions in speed limits resulted in decreases in both the number of fatalities and the severity of injuries.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Prepared with the cooperation of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the Highway Research Information service of the Transportation Research Board. Contained in 1975 World Survey of Current R&D on Roads and Road Transport.
  • Corporate Authors:

    International Road Federation

    525 School Street, SW
    Washington, DC  USA  20024
  • Authors:
    • French, A
    • Wylie, L D
  • Publication Date: 1975-12

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; Tables;
  • Pagination: 53 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00131426
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: Annual Rpt
  • Contract Numbers: DOT-FH-11-7656
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 14 1976 12:00AM