Fine Gael TD for Louth, Peter Fitzpatrick has called for a full review of speed limits currently in place on local and regional roads in Louth following the launch of the ‘Guidelines for Setting and Managing Speed Limits’, published by the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe TD.
“For some time I have been highlighting the issue of speed limits that are too high in residential areas or limits that are too low in rural areas. The document published today by Minister Donohoe provides advice and guidance to local authorities who have responsibility for speed limits across the country.
“There is no doubt that some changes need to be made. Some roads in the bigger towns of Dundalk and Drogheda but also in smaller areas are regularly used as rat runs and therefore carry large volumes of traffic. Lower speed limits in these areas may deter this traffic and make the roads quieter for residents. Equally there are rural roads in very good condition that have speed limits so low that it is difficult to adhere to them. We need to ensure that greater consistency is applied where speed limits are concerned. It is also recommended that speed reviews be carried out every five years.
“New road signage to deal with speed limits in rural areas on minor local roads will be introduced and there will also be new urban ‘Slow Zones’ introduced in residential areas to reduce the speed limit to 30 km/h.
“I very much welcome these new guidelines as they are based on a principle of common sense and are in keeping with international standards. Speed limits for rural roads will be based primarily on road width while in urban areas it will be based on how the road is used and where it is located in relation to the town centre
“Following the review, drivers on narrow country roads in Louth will begin to see a new sign with a white circle with black diagonal stripes. This sign is in use internationally, it will replace the 80km/h sign and will mean that drivers must use their judgement when using the road but must not exceed 80km/h. I believe this sign will come to be recognised as a warning that while you can drive at 80km/h, it may not be the safest option.
“Road safety remains at the centre of these new guidelines. Too many people lose their lives on our roads in Co. Louth. I commend Minister Donohoe for the work he has done in this area and I urge Louth County Council to begin the review without delay.”