2017 news

02 October 2017

RSA Annual Academic Lecture on 30km/h limits kicks off Irish Road Safety Week

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) has today urged Local Authorities to introduce more 30km/h zones in towns and cities around Ireland, as international evidence shows that Ireland is falling behind Europe in setting 30km/h speed limits.  The RSA today hosted its Annual Academic Road Safety Lecture, the first in a series of events taking place during ‘Irish Road Safety Week’, which focused on 30km/h speed limits and featured insights on the subject from international and national experts.

Speakers at the event included Rod King MBE, founder of the ‘20’s Plenty’ initiative in the UK which campaigns for the roll out of 20mph (30km/h) limits across the UK. Over 15 million people live in local authorities in the UK that have implemented 20mph speed limits in both urban and residential streets.

Antonio Avenoso, Director of the European Transport Safety Council provided an update on the progress of 30km/h limits across Europe. In the last couple of years there have been significant moves towards 30km/h becoming the default speed limit in urban areas on the continent. Dublin City Council’s Dermot Stevenson updated attendees on the introduction of 30km/h speed limits in the city and the Council’s future plans to expand the network of 30km/h speed limits across the city.

Addressing the annual academic lecture, Chief Executive Officer of the RSA, Moyagh Murdock, said: “Dublin City Council has pioneered the roll out of 30km/h limits in this country and I sincerely hope that their example will be copied by other local authorities around the country. Because 30km/h limits in our town and city centers means a safer, healthier, greener, prosperous, quieter and better quality of life for people.”

Ms. Murdock added that, “30km/h limits in our towns and cities also means a safer place for our most vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, cyclists and children. The RSA’s Free Speed survey which was conducted last year found that most drivers are choosing to speed in our towns and villages, when they should be choosing an appropriate speed for their surroundings. For example, the percentage of car drivers breaking the speed limit on Irish urban roads (where speed limit is less than or equal to 60km/h) was 57%. The survey also found that speeding is a problem in urban areas for other categories of vehicles such as trucks, with 55% of all rigid and 55% of all articulated trucks speeding in urban areas.”*

The RSA is seeking support for its national drive to save lives during Irish Road Safety Week (IRSW), which takes place from today Monday 2 October to Sunday 8 October with numerous road safety activities planned nationwide.

The RSA is also reminding road-users that small changes to our behaviour on the roads can have a significant impact.

Below is a list of other activities taking place during IRSW:

  • On Wednesday 4 October: The RSA and the Irish Tyre Industry Association (ITIA) will jointly run Tyre Safety Day where free tyre checks will be on offer to motorists in participating garages. More information will be on www.ITIA.ie . A copy of ‘Your guide to Tyre Safety’ which includes information on buying second hand tyres can be downloaded here.
  • The RSA, Health and Safety Authority (HSA) and An Garda Síochána are hosting a series of Driving for Work Seminars on ‘Managing Driving for Work’ for employers on Wednesday 4 October in the Castletroy Park Hotel, Dublin Road, Limerick and in the Rochestown Park Hotel, Douglas, Cork on Thursday 5 October. Places are limited so email drivingforwork@rsa.ie to register your place by Friday 29 September.
    The RSA will be airing its winter ready radio advert throughout the week. As the winter months are approaching its time to make sure your vehicle is maintained ahead of the winter season.
  • National Beep Beep Day’ takes place on Friday 6 October 2017. Beep Beep Day is a chance for Pre-schoolers to get involved in road safety. Beep Beep Day packs can be ordered through the RSA Online Orders system here . There is a limited supply of stocks so orders should be placed as soon as possible.

The RSA will be launching a vehicle maintenance campaign following the development of a series of online videos presented by motoring journalist Geraldine Herbert.

 

To find out more about IRSW please click here.

As of Monday 2 October 2017, 117 people have been killed on Irish roads. This represents a decline of 22 deaths compared to the same date last year.

* RSA’s Free Speeds survey, conducted in 2016, observed the speed of 17,591 vehicles on Irish roads.

Editors Notes:

  • Grenoble in France has introduced a 30 km/h zone covering the entire city. Paris is looking to expand to a city wide 30km/h limit by 2020. 
  • The Spanish government wants 30km/h to become the default speed limit on urban roads – Valencia has already made 30km/h the limit throughout its historic central zone. 
  • Milan in Italy and Edinburgh in Scotland have also extended 30km/h or 20 mph zones to cover large areas. 
  • In Switzerland, around 40% of the population now live inside a 30km/h zone.

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