Spain has been forced to slash its national speed limit from 120km/h (75mph) to 110km/h (68mph) due to rising oil prices sparked by the crisis in Libya and the Arab region.
Spain relies heavily on imported fuel and the BBC claims it gets 13 per cent of this from Libya, where violent clashes and security fears have forced the price of oil up.
Overnight, workmen in Spain placed new 110km/h stickers over more than 6000 signs with the previous 120km/h limit on them. Deputy prime minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba said: “We are going to go a bit slower and in exchange we will consume less petrol and pay less money.”
The “exceptional” move is temporary, according to the Spanish government, and will stay in place until the end of June at the earliest.
The move has not proved popular with everyone, however. Spain’s main opposition party, the Popular Party, said: “What next? Will the government make people go to sleep earlier to reduce their consumption of light?"
The Spanish government says the lower speed limit will save 15 per cent on fuel bills, although opposition claims the real figure is around five per cent.
Other measures introduced by the government include cuts in the cost of train travel and subsidies for energy-efficient light bulbs and low-rolling resistance car tyres.