11 recommendations on speed limits
The new recommendations on speed limits are outlined, including a new appeals system.
1. A new Appeals System will be put in place to address inconsistent speed limits. This will allow interested parties or members of the public to appeal a given speed limit to the local authority. The authority must consider the issue within a given timeframe. If dissatisfied with the local authority response, the appeal can be escalated to a review body.
2. 80 kmh signs on narrow rural roads will be replaced with a generic sign that does not display a numeral. The limit will remain at 80kmh but the new sign will be the ‘black circle with diagonal’ which is in use internationally under the Vienna signage convention and which was used in Ireland prior to 2004. That sign means that the driver must use their own judgement but must never exceed 80kmh in any event.
3. The Road Safety Authority will run an awareness campaign on the new rural speed limit signs, and other measures, and will update the Rules of the Road.
4. The National Roads Authority and local authorities will review and update speed limits on a five year cycle to ensure appropriate fit and compliance with the Guidelines. The Department of Transport is currently mapping every speed limit in the country on to a computer database.
5. So-called ‘silly signs’ - such as a 100kmh speed limit on a dangerous corner where a lower speed would be more appropriate – will be removed. Inappropriate ‘repeater’ signs are already being removed.
6. The Guidelines for the Application of Speed Limits will be improved and made binding.
7. A voluntary pilot of in-car speed warnings, where drivers can choose to be warned by their satnav system if they exceed the speed limit, will be offered to motorists.
8. Trials will be run of variable speed limits which can be adjusted according to weather conditions, the volume of traffic, the time of day, or the day of the week.
9. Average speed limits will be introduced on motorways or other long-distance fixed roads to determine whether a vehicle has driven faster than the maximum speed limit over a given length of road.
10. The rules for the setting of temporary speed limits to allow for road works will be updated. This will allow City and County Managers to apply speed limits at road works more responsively, and flexibly - for example to apply lower limits only while works are underway.
11. The Department of Transport will appoint an existing official to oversee the implementation of the report’s recommendations.