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Christmas Road Safety Campaign Launched

Anti-speeding 30.11.2023

New 30km/h speed limit campaign focuses on urban areas

The Road Safety Authority (RSA), An Garda Síochána, and the Department of Transport and Department of Justice are together urging road users to act responsibly and safely when using the roads throughout the Christmas and New Year period. The call was made at the launch of a new road safety campaign highlighting the benefits of 30km/h speed limits in urban areas.

As the festive period approaches, the RSA, An Garda Síochána and the Department of Transport are calling on people to refrain from driving while under the influence of alcohol and illegal drugs, and they will be also targeting other road traffic offences such as mobile phone use, speeding and non-wearing of seatbelts.

This year's road safety campaign focuses on 30km/h speed limit in urban areas, a strategic initiative aimed at reducing road traffic fatalities. There is overwhelming evidence that lower speed limits make streets safer and more pleasant places for children and adults to live, socialise, work and play. When parents and children can walk and cycle in their neighbourhood, families benefit from healthier children, less stress and more money in their pockets.

In addition, data consistently indicates that higher speeds significantly escalate both the incidence and severity of road accidents:

  • If hit at 60km/h 9 out of 10 pedestrians will be killed.
  • If hit at 50Km/h 5 out of 10 pedestrians will be killed.
  • If hit at 30km/h 9 out of 10 will survive.

Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Mr. Jack Chambers said: “Although we have made great strides in the past 20 years, it is clear from the current trends that we must redouble our efforts to restore the downward trend of deaths and serious injuries on our roads. We are working on multiple fronts to address this problem. My Department has published a speed limit review, containing a range of recommendations focused on ensuring that we have safe and appropriate speed limits on all classes of roads.  We are also drafting new legislation to introduce mandatory drug testing at the scene of serious incidents, amending penalty points legislation for motorists committing multiple offences, and continuing to work with An Garda Síochána to support it in its enforcement of road traffic legislation. I urge everyone to remember that responsible driving is not just a personal choice, but a responsibility we must all share. Let us make this festive season a safe one for everyone.”

Minister for Justice, Ms. Helen McEntee said: “This year, we've witnessed a concerning increase in road fatalities, highlighting the urgent need for heightened awareness and caution. The Department of Justice, together with the RSA, An Garda Síochána and the Department of Transport, is committed to making our roads safer for all road users. For the forthcoming holiday period, we are collectively asking all road users to act with great care, follow the Rules of the Road, to share the roads safely and to slow down and never, ever, drink and drive. I know that An Garda Síochána will be working night and day to enforce the law when it comes to road safety, using every technological tool and team member to best effect to make this period safe for all road users. I am asking all members of the public, regardless of what mode of travel they use, to work with our police force to achieve safety on our roads.”

Mr Sam Waide, CEO of the RSA said: “The Christmas period should be a time of joy and celebration, not tragedy. Slower speeds save lives, and by complying with these limits, every road user contributes to a safer, more responsible road environment. We implore all road users to slow down and adhere to speed limits, including those in urban areas like 30km/h speed limits where they are in place, avoid driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and respect all other road users. Together, we can ensure that this Christmas is remembered for the right reasons”.

Paula Hilman, Assistant Commissioner, Roads Policing & Community Engagement, An Garda Síochána said: “Today we are launching our Christmas and New Year Road Safety Campaign, which will run from 1 December 2023 to 4 January 2024. This campaign focuses on detecting known offences that contribute to death and serious injury on our roads – speeding and drink and drug driving.  Our Roads Policing and Regular Members will be focusing on detecting those who continue to take risks on our roads and to play our part in making our roads safer.  We want everyone to enjoy their Christmas, it is imperative we all do so responsibly – never get behind the wheel having consumed alcohol or drugs, drive at an appropriate speed to the road and weather conditions, do not get distracted, focus on what you are doing and wear your seatbelt.  We do not want to be visiting your family with devastating news this Christmas or New Year.”

According to research conducted by Behaviours & Attitudes:

  • More than two-thirds (68%) of adults support the introduction of 30km/h speed limit on at least one of the listed road types.
  • Almost three in four people (73%) agree that 30km/h is safer for pedestrians than 50 km/h speed limit roads.
  • Almost seven in ten (69%) agree that 30km/h is safer for cyclists than 50 km/h speed limit roads.
  • Over half (59%) agree speed limit will make urban roads safer.

There has been an increase in fatalities on Irish roads in 2023, and with the period between Christmas and New Year a traditionally dangerous time on the roads, the new campaign, aims to encourage road users to reduce their speed and be extra cautious over the festive period.

As of 29 November 2023, there have been 172 people killed on Irish roads 31 more than the corresponding period in 2022.

Please see link to new 30km/h speed limit campaign that focuses on urban areas.