Why Ireland Needs 30km/h Urban Speed Limits
What difference does 30km/h make?
At 60km/h one in ten pedestrians survive collisions between car and pedestrians, while at 30km/h nine in ten pedestrians survive – see graphic below. For the 6th UN Global Road Safety Week , The UN is calling on policymakers to act for low speed streets worldwide, limiting speeds to 30 km/h where people walk, live and play. This call echoes the 2020 Stockholm Declaration where Ireland was one of the co signatories pledging 30km/h urban speed limits.
We need to make this happen!
A 30km/h speed limit introduces calmer, safer roads and shorter braking distance. It gives the driver a better view of their surroundings and makes it easier for them to see any pedestrians crossing the road, cyclists and other vehicles and allows more time for drivers to react to the unexpected.
For 2021, the theme of the week is ‘Streets for life’ and this has never been more important as people spend more time in their own localities. 30km/h makes our cities, towns and villages safer places to live. It allows children and those with limited mobility to move more freely and it creates vibrant people-friendly spaces.
Road traffic injuries rank among the top four causes of death for all children after infancy. Crashes on the roads account for one third of all injury deaths across all age groups – pre-schoolers, older children or teenagers.
There was 6% increase in the number of people who died on Irish roads in 2020 as against 2019, despite a reduction in overall traffic volumes. A total of 149 people died on Irish roads in 2020 – compared to 140 in 2019. This included 10 people on bikes.
However, overall the measures taken to reduce road trauma are working: between 2013 and 2019, Ireland saw a 26% reduction in road traffic fatalities, compared to just a 6% reduction across the whole of the EU-27. We had the two safest years on record for road fatalities in 2018 and 2019, and slowing down will ensure that this overall long-term downward trend in collisions and fatalities will continue.
Many cities and urban areas worldwide have introduced widespread 30 km/h limits. Several countries are introducing default 30 km/h speed limits in all urban areas including The Netherlands, Spain, and Wales (20 m/h). Some locations have speed limits as low as 10 km/h. Love 30 and Cyclist.ie believe that Ireland, as a signatory of the Stockholm Declaration, must follow this best international practice and legislate for a default 30 km/h limit in all built-up areas.
For further information, contact:
Mairéad Forsythe: 086-8337577
Caitríona Corr: 083-0238790