New speed limit to be introduced in residential and built-up areas
Transport officials expect a 30-km per hour (19 m.p.h.) speed limit, introduced under new legislation, will be implemented widely in residential and built-up areas.
The new speed limit is 35 per cent lower than the current lowest limit (30 m.p.h.). It will be some months before the new limit can be enforced.
It is expected the limit will be applied in areas from roads near schools and playgrounds to streets with high pedestrian numbers.
Previously local authorities have relied on traffic calming measures such as speed ramps to slow traffic down in such areas, as they were prohibited under legislation from setting limits below 30 m.p.h.
It will be some months before the new limit will be in place.
The Department of Transport has to issue guidelines on how it can be implemented, before local authorities can designate 30 k.p.h. zones, but officials are already predicting that there will be huge demand on councils for the low limit.
"I don't want to second-guess what will or won't be allowed under the guidelines, but I think there will be considerable pressure to apply it in many residential areas," said Mr Owen Keegan, deputy city manager and director of traffic for Dublin.
"The data is there to show that there's a huge correlation between the speed of impact and the severity of injuries in road collisions."
Mr Keegan said he believed the 30 m.p.h. limit was too high in many parts of the city.
The council had already introduced various traffic calming measures to reduce speed.
He added that there were merits in having the 30 k.p.h. limit in many residential areas or places, such as O'Connell Street, which have high pedestrian volumes.
Mr Keegan concluded: "I don't think it would be unreasonable that a 30 k.p.h. limit would apply in those areas."