Wednesday 15 October 2014
National review will determine if appropriate speed limits are in place, especially where children are at play
Following on from a number of meetings with the Jake’s Legacy campaign*, the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe TD, has today (Wednesday) issued a circular to all Local Authorities requiring an examination of speed limits in residential areas and housing estates to improve road safety for cyclists and pedestrians, especially children.
The circular sets out the results of a recent survey carried out by the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, the aim of which was to determine the use of traffic calming measures, such as speed ramps, and reduced speed limits of 30km/h in residential areas. It also reiterates existing policy in the area and requires Local Authorities to undertake a review of the current situation to determine whether or not appropriate speed limits are in place.
Minister Donohoe sees the increased use of a 30km/h speed limit in residential areas as a measure that will help mitigate against the dangers posed to cyclists and pedestrians, especially children at play. In attempting to deal with excessive speeding in residential areas, a process for Local Authorities is being proposed. It includes:
· Consultation with local residents to determine if they believe speed limits are too high in their area;
· Bye-laws for the new 30 km/h limits for the selected estates and zones to be adopted where needed;
· The use of a combination 30 km/h speed limit sign in conjunction with a yellow warning sign showing ‘children at play’ at the entry to a housing estate;
· Other traffic calming measures, including the use of ramps, to be considered;
· Monitoring of the new speed limits to ensure that the measures put in place are effective.
Minister Donohoe said: ‘Having met with the Jake’s Legacy campaign a number of times since Jake’s tragic death, myself and my Departmental officials have been working to identify the most effective ways of keeping all children safe while they are at play in their local area. This circular aims to set Local Authorities on a path to determine whether or not residents feel measures should be adopted to reduce the speeds being reached by motorists driving in and around their local area. The most important objective is to improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists, and especially children, and the Department sees the increased use of a 30km/h speed limit in residential areas as a measure that will help to achieve that objective’.
Local authorities are requested to draw up a timeline for completion of the process and to submit the proposed timeline to email@example.com by the 7th November 2014. A copy of the circular is available here http://www.dttas.ie/roads/publications/english/circular-control-vehicle-speeds-housing-estates.
*Jake’s Legacy campaign are campaigning for enhanced road safety measures in housing estates following the recent death of six year old Jake Brennan in a fatal road collision outside the family home in Kilkenny.