Lower speed limits of 30km/h was only been mentioned once in the last 10 years in correspondence from the Department of Transport to the Road Safety Authority, a Freedom of Information has shown.
Roseanne Brennan, of the Jake’s Legacy campaign, reacted strongly to the results of the FOI request: “So, these are the people that we are leaving the safety of our children too. The RSA and the Minister of Transport and it took my baby to die for them to all start discussing the 30km/h speed limit… uhhh what a joke!!!”
The Jake’s Legacy campaign has been fighting for lower speed limits after six-year-old Jake Brennan was killed when crossing a road in a Kilkenny housing estate in 2014.
The news of a lack of interest in 30km/h follows on from another FOI request which shows that the Road Safety Authority failed to follow its own Pedestrian Road Safety Action Plan 2010 – 2014, which said it would work with city, town and county councils on lowering speed limits.
As we’ve previously reported, before the Roseanne Brennan started to campaign on the issue of lower speed limits, a Department of Transport speed limit review treated 30km/h as experimental despite the limit already being used in parts of Ireland and across the world. That review involved motoring lobby the AA, but no road safety lobby group.
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The FOI request relating to the Department of Transport also revealed that the department did not communicate at all with the Department of the Environment, Community & Local Government about the implementation of 30 km/h zones between 2005 and 2014.
According to a post on the Jake’s Legacy Facebook page: “The only correspondence about 30 km/h zones issued by the Department of Transport [to the RSA] since 2006 was an email to the RSA dated 9th January 2015 in which they refer to new speed signs, updated speed limit guidelines and the fact that the DTTAS recently ‘engaged with local authorities with a view to encouraging them to make greater use of the 30 km/h Special Speed Limit within housing estates as appropriate’.
Roseanne Brennan said: “The Department of Transport’s silence about 30 km/h over the past ten years shows a lack of leadership. Isn’t that what Ministers are supposed to do, lead? They can’t continue to hide behind all the bureaucracy… We are going no where till we see proper people caring for the rights of our kids.”