Monday 20 November 2017

Speed limits cut to 25kmh in safety bid

Treacy Hogan Environment Correspondent

SPEED limits on some roads will plunge to as low as 25kmh as part of new safety measures being introduced by the National Roads Authority (NRA).

Councils have been ordered to bring in reduced speed limits and introduce "temporary surface" warning signs as part of a raft of new safety measures for unfinished roads.

The measures will affect hundreds of roads where works are being carried out every day.

"Every single county on every single day would have roadworks," an AA spokeswoman said.

"There's probably 250 or 260 roadworks on a given day, and while some would have a reduced speed limit, others wouldn't."

The changes were recommended in a report examining the use of a material called dense bitumen macadam (DBM), which was identified as a factor in the deaths of six young people in two high-profile crashes.

DBM is an 'undercoat' of material that is supposed to be covered with tar and chips. However, in a number of cases, local authorities allowed roads to be used for lengthy periods with DBM as the top surface -- despite fears over increased risks of skidding.

Following an NRA-commissioned report, new regulations have been introduced banning DBM as a final surface.

Under the old system, councils usually imposed speed limits of 60kmh at road works involving the material on main roads. However, they are being told to consider even lower limits -- with some councils already implementing limits of as low as 25kmh.

The move comes eight years after the death of Ashling Gallagher (22). Her car skidded into the path of a cement mixer truck on a temporary road surface near Mulranny, Co Mayo. There were no signs indicating a temporary surface or speed restrictions.

Her father, roads engineer Tommy Gallagher, warned authorities about the dangers of such road surfaces, just months before the 2005 Meath school bus tragedy, in which five schoolgirls died on the same temporary surface at Kentstown.

Irish Independent

Promoted Links

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News