Councillor who called cyclists “cowboys” wants leeway for motorists to speed 10km/h over limits

Connachttribune.ie reported yesterday that a Galway councillor, who previously called people who use bicycles cowboys, wants Gardai to allow motorists to break the law on speeding.

Connachttribune.ie said that Fine Gael councillor Padraig Conneely was propted to make the remarks after “his recent visits to court to face charges of illegal parking” — A message sent by this website to Cllr Conneely asking him what exact offence he was accused of commiting and the outcome of the case was not responded to.

Addressing Galway’s Garda chief superintendent Tom Curley at a Galway City Council meeting, Cllr Conneely said that “discretion should be used where they’re 10km over,” referring to motorists speeding 10km/h over the speed limit.

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Experts, however, claim that increased speed increases the likelihood of a collisions and lowers the chances of survival, especially for people walking and cycling who are hit by motorists.

The World Heath Organisation (WHO) says that “An increase in average speed of 1 km/h typically results in a 3% higher risk of a crash involving injury, with a 4–5% increase for crashes that result in fatalities.”

A fact sheet from WHO continues: “The relationship between speed and injury severity is particularly critical for vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists. For example, pedestrians have been shown to have a 90% chance of survival when struck by a car travelling at 30 km/h or below, but less than 50% chance of surviving an impact at 45 km/h. Pedestrians have almost no chance of surviving an impact at 80 km/h.”

Connachttribune.ie reported that chief superintendent Curley’s response included telling the councillor: “The only bit of advice I can give Cllr Conneely is slow down.”

The same newspaper reported last October that Cllr Connely branded people who cycle as “cowboys or cowgirls” for breaking the law.

MORE: Councillor claims Gardai are ‘revenue collectors’
MORE: City councillor brands cyclists as ‘cowboys

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