Submission on Government Road Safety Strategy 2021-2030

The Road Safety Strategy has a public consultation on the Road Safety Strategy 2021-2030.

Have your say by completing the survey by 22 November 2020.

The Love30 campaign made the following points in its submission:

What should the Road Safety Priorities be for the next 10 Years

  1. Reduce numbers of pedestrian and cyclist deaths and serious injuries. This is in accordance with the Programme for Government which commits to “Introduce a new road safety strategy focused on reducing death and injuries of vulnerable road users, pedestrians, and cyclists.“

  2. Introduce more widespread 30 km/h speed limits in urban areas, in residential areas, outside schools and places of public assembly. The Programme for Government has committed to “Review and reduce speed limits, where appropriate, to address both road safety issues and carbon emissions, and ensure greater compliance.” Ireland is a signatory to the Stockholm Declaration on Road Safety and the UN General Assembly endorsement of 30 km/h speed limits in areas where vulnerable road users and vehicles mix (See Q 5 below).

  3. Introduce more periodic 30 km/h speed limits in the vicinity of schools.

  4. Improve observance of speed limits.

  5. Improve enforcement of speed limits. The Programme for Government commits to “ensure greater compliance”

  6. Consolidate road traffic legislation. The Programme for Government commits to “Prioritise the consolidation of the existing road traffic legislation and use that as an opportunity to rectify any anomalies that may have developed which hinder appropriate enforcement.”

How should these priorities be addressed?

  1. The chart in the this tweet shows how poorly Ireland compares with other European countries in reducing pedestrian deaths compared with motorised road user deaths .

  2. Driver training and testing, media and other educators should teach drivers to be on high alert for people, such as cyclists and pedestrians, outside the car.

  3. Road engineering should aim to make pedestrians and cyclists more visible and prominent among road users.

  4. Road engineering should reflect the speed limit e.g. roads with lower speed limits should be, or seem, narrower than those with higher limits. Measures such as narrowing of the carriageway, chicanes, etc. should be used at the commencement of a lower speed limit section of road.

  5. The Department of Transport should appoint an Assistant Secretary responsible for all transport safety - road, rail, air & sea - separate from the functional sections of the department.

  6. Ask the Ministers (transport, justice, health, etc.) to support 30 km/h speed limits publicly and explain why they are there. They need to support 30 km/h (and appropriate speed limits elsewhere) and compliance.

  7. Review progress on the Speed Limits Review 2013 and update.

  8. Initiate a new speed limit review seeking 30 km/h in the centres of towns and villages, on all residential roads and outside all schools.

  9. Ensure the website is kept fully up-to-date.

  10. Create a national team in Department of Transport, Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage or the Local Government Management Agency to assist councils in drawing up their bye-laws to include (a) technical people, (b) legal people, (c) people who can bridge the technical-legal gap and (d) support services.

  11. Codify the Road Traffic Acts into a single document by end 2022.

  12. Codify all Road Traffic Regulations into a series of single documents per topic by end 2022.

  13. Review and update the Guidelines for Setting and Managing Speed Limits in Ireland, especially in light of the Stockholm Declaration, the Road Traffic Act 2016 and experience.

  14. Increase the quantum and visibility of speed limit enforcement actions by Gardai with a focus on 30 km/h zones, in the vicinity of schools, in residential estates and places where there are large numbers of vulnerable road users.

  15. Increase the quantum of speed cameras so that motorists perceive that the chances of detection are high if they exceed the speed limit.

  16. To help focus enforcement efforts, use anonymised Google Maps and SatNav data to determine where and when drivers are travelling at inappropriate speeds.

  17. Explore opportunities to use new technologies such as Intelligent Speed Assistance and other in-car/cab technologies that observe driving behaviour, especially in trucks, buses and taxis.

  18. Encourage motorists to use technologies already available to assist them in observing speed limits, e.g. satellite navigation systems.

  19. Expand use of free speed surveys, with results widely publicised. The surveys should be followed by appeals to motorists and visible enforcement. Increase enforcement and Garda presence at locations of egregious examples.

Comments on the Current Road Safety Strategy

Item 93 of the Action Plan commits to “Review the feasibility of alternative sanction options such as corrective training courses for commercial vehicle operators and drivers.” We recommend that this review should be extended to consider the feasibility of speed awareness courses, similar to those in the UK.

What can we learn from other countries?

  • Most European countries have widespread 30 km/h limits in city, town and village centres. Only a few Irish counties have introduced 30 km/h in town and village centres and Dublin is the only city with 30 km/h speed limits in the city centre.
  • Most European countries have 30 km/h limits in residential areas. While all Irish counties have some 30 km/h limits in residential areas their implementation is inconsistent. Local authorities should be encouraged, mandated, or compelled to implement 30 km/h on residential roads.
  • National governments in Wales and Spain have committed to introduce default 30 km/h in urban areas.
  • Countries such as the Netherlands use engineering very effectively to slow traffic e.g. by removing the centre line on roads, by widening footpaths and by painting cycle tracks in different colours.

Other Comments

  • The Love 30 Campaign ( is a national alliance of individuals and organisations who support lower speed limits in urban areas. We campaign for the introduction of more 30 km/h zones in urban areas, but particularly in town centres, residential areas, and near schools and other places of public assembly. The Campaign consists of walking groups, cycling campaigners, supporters of children’s right to walk & play, and others who recognise the benefits of lower speed limits. Our case for widespread 30km/h speed limits is set out in linked submission to Galway City Council.

  • Ireland is a signatory of the [Stockholm Declaration]( of the Third Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety: Achieving Global Goals 2030 Stockholm, 19–20 February 2020. ) In para 11 it commits to “Focus on speed management, including the strengthening of law enforcement to prevent speeding and 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, noting that efforts to reduce speed in general will have a beneficial impact on air quality and climate change as well as being vital to reduce road traffic deaths and injuries;”

  • The General Assembly of the UN in September 2020 endorsed the Stockholm Declaration as key to delivering its Sustainable Development Goals 2030 in its 2nd Decade of Action for Road Safety.