COMMENT & ANALYSIS: Some people might just believe the above headline. Many have believed the lies about a 30km/h “blanket ban” for Dublin and some of the poor news reporting on the issue which has echoed or not challenged the lies.
Recently we’ve heard a lot about “post-truth” and “fake news” and Irish media outlets have talked and written a lot about these terms. But some in the media need to turn a mirror on their own publications.
A small sample can be found in the misleading headlines after Dublin City Council announced public consultation on expanding 30km/h to local residential streets (excluding the vast bulk of main roads). These included: “Speed limits to be reduced to 30km/h across Dublin” (The Irish Times, May 20, 2016) and “Controversy erupts over plans for blanket 30km Dublin city speed limit” (Irish Independent, May 21, 2016). More detailed examples can be found in past articles (see below).
And many people bought it. After the public consultation ended the city council had to point out that 96 submissions misunderstood the proposal and thought that the council were planning a “blanket 30km/h zone” across the city. The same can be found in discussion online and off-line.
30km/h limits are backed by evidence. They are implemented on residential streets and urban centres in villages, towns and cities across Europe and beyond. Motorists and cars manage in 30km/h zones elsewhere — let’s stop the nonsense.