“It took my baby to die for them to start discussing the 30km/h limit”

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!!!”

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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.

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.”


  1. Is it possible that reason can so easily be cast to the wind on such an important matter? No child should have to die to make you stop, listen and more importantly, do the right thing. How hard is it to make that change?

  2. They seem to be looking after the Motorists interest all the time. Think off all the Kerfufle it was to bring in the 30 kmh limit in the small tiny area of Dublin City Centre, with the Motorists Lobby fighting Tooth and nail against it. Then a piece of the section that was brought in was taken away eventually.

    In Housing Estates and in lots of areas there needs to be a 15kmh limit brought in and not just 30kmh. There also needs to be Cul De sacs stopping cars proceeding through Estates to main Roads. In short stopping the Rat running, one way in and the same way out for Cars through Estates.

  3. I hail Cian Ginty, Roseann Brennan (Jake’s Legacy), Susan Gray (PARC), Simon Comer (Cosain) and those TDs who helped us all in getting this information.
    What total indifference by officialdom to the real road safety needs of vulnerable road users.
    Imagine the nerve of the Department of Transport to have the AA as part of the advisory group on lower speed limits! It beggars belief.

  4. The treatment of the AA as if it were a disinterested party is maddening. It’s bad enough when RTÉ do it, but the DoT should know better. The AA is a for-profit company with an obvious and far from disinterested agenda.

    It’s more than forty years since the Dutch had their kindermoord realization. It’s shameful that it has taken so long and so many more deaths for the message to begin to sink in here.

  5. Very interesting and well done to those who got this information. One question, was there anything in either the request or the answer about communications between the Department of Transport and the local authorities about 30km/hr? Was the only communication to local authorities in the form of the recent circulars that have already been made public and the published guidance?

  6. It has been policy since at least 2009. The problem is the same as it has always been in Ireland and continues to be. Lack of implementation.

  7. The message that urban roads and streets needs to be for people and not just for cars. In cities and towns where people live, work, walk, cycle and play, motorised vehicles have no right to dominate and should behave as guests giving way at all times to people not encased in protective metal boxes.
    It may have to come to the reintroduction of the Red Flag Laws, a policy requiring self-propelled vehicles to be led by a pedestrian waving a red flag or carrying a lantern to warn bystanders of the vehicle’s approach. We may have to other option to save the lives of people who live in our urban areas.
    Motor vehicles are a very serious threat to the lives of those not in them during their operation.


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