Love 30 Information for Campaigners

Would you like to get 30km/h speed limits in your area? Since April 2016, the Road Safety Authority has called for 30 km/h speed limits in towns and cities and around schools. So there is a strong case for 30 km/h wherever you live!

Resources

Here are some of the resources available to groups who are campaigning for lower speed limits:

  1. Advocacy Presentation which you can use at, for example, residents meetings, which explains the benefits and challenges many of the myths around lower speed limits
  2. Sample Petition this is a simple way to garner support and get the names of people who may be willing to help with your campaign
  3. Love 30 Leaflet that summarises the benefits of lower speed limits - best printed at A5 size
  4. Love 30 stickers and we can give you the artwork for the Love 30 logo, just email us at info@love30.ie

A speed gun is an effective way to gather objective data about speeds on a particular road. They are available for approx €110 euro, e.g. Bushnell Velocity Speed Gun. Note that these speed guns are not as accurate as those used by the Gardai, but they are useful to gather typical speeds.

Benefits of Lower Speed Limits

The benefits of lower speed limits include:

  • a reduced risk of pedestrians and cyclists being killed or injured
  • traffic moves more smoothly with minimal effects on journey times
  • air and noise pollution are reduced
  • more people walking and cycling
  • more children playing outdoors
  • young people and elderly people are more likely to move about independently
  • our urban and village streets and residential estates can be transformed from car dominated through-roads to vibrant living ‘people-friendly’ spaces
  • rising levels of obesity are combated by encouraging people of all ages to walk and cycle and by encouraging children to play outdoors

Here are some examples of the effect of reduced speed limits in other jurisdictions:

  • - 50% children killed or severely injured, achieved in London
  • - 50% road crashes, achieved in Switzerland,
  • - 90% killed or severely injured, achieved in Kingston upon Hull
  • + 35% children allowed to play on the road, achieved Edinburgh

European Parliament in its Road Safety report recommends authorities to introduce 30 kph limits in residential areas across the EU

30 km/h is becoming the norm in EU countries and even in the US many 20 mph zones have been introduced. The European network for 30 km/h has supporters in many EU countries. http://en.30kmh.eu/

20’s Plenty for us in the UK has been campaigning for 20 mph limits in towns and cities and more than 21 million people in the UK now live in 20 mph areas. Their website has lots of useful information and fact sheets.

Legislation and Guidelines

Minister Shane Ross signed the Stockholm Declaration in February 2020 which signed up to 'mandate a maximum road travel speed of 30 km/h in areas where vulnerable road users and vehicles mix in a frequent and planned manner, except where strong evidence exists that higher speeds are safe,'.

Speed limits are governed by national legislation (Road Traffic Act 2004) but are implemented by each local authority by means of Bye Laws.

The speed limits are:

  • 120 kph on Motorways
  • 100kph on National Roads
  • 80 kph on rural roads
  • 50 kph in built up areas

The legislation provides for special limits of 30 kph and 60 kph to be introduced by local authorities. The speed limits above can also be applied as special limits. An additional special limit of 40 kph was provided for in 2010. The Road Road Traffic Bill 2015 provided for a new special speed limit of 20 kph which local authorities could introduce in residential estates but this Bill did not pass through all stages in the Oireachtas before the dissolution of the Dáil in February 2016.

The special limits are subject to Mandatory Guidelines, issued by the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport.

The Guidelines recommend that local authorities should give serious consideration to the lowering of the speed limit from 50 km/h to 30 km/h within housing estate areas and provide for “Slow Zones” with 30 kph limits and an associated sign for residential estates. They recommend using mean speed and 85 percentile speeds as a guide in determining speed limits and also recommend engineering solutions to slow traffic. They require consultation with interested parties and a public consultation in advance of the introduction of special speed limits. They oblige Local Authorities to review all speed limits within 2 years of the publication of the Guidelines and to review speed limits every 5 years.

The Design Manual for Urban Roads and Streets (DMURS) has been mandatory for all new urban roads and streets since 2013. It provides for improved street design which encourages social interaction, walking cycling and use of public transport.

Following meetings between the Minister for Transport, Paschal Donohoe, and Jakes’s Legacy Campaign the Department of Transport Tourism and Sport (http://www.dttas.ie/) conducted a survey of local authorities in relation to speed limits and speed ramps in residential estates. In October 2014 the Department issued a Circular to Local Authorities requesting that they review speed limits in residential estates to determine whether or not appropriate speed limits and signage are in place: http://www.dttas.ie/roads/publications/english/circular-control-vehicle-speeds-housing-estates.