11. Speed

Speed Limits & Reviews

A speed limit of 6 mph (10 km/h) was introduced in Ireland in about 1876 and in 2003 or 127 years later, a Traffic Management Guideline Manual was designed by a 15 member Group of Experts representing 9 different organisations without realising the stopping distances and amber light time were both incorrect.

On 06 07 1927, Assistant Commissioner William Murphy incorrectly blamed pedestrians for crashes and o n11 07 1951 , Daniel Morrissey TD incorrectly blamed ‘the fair sex’ for dangerous driving.

On 24 02 2010 Ronan O’Dea an engineer at Dublin City Council responded; Stopping Distances are outlined in Rules of the Road page 95.  I do not know precisely when the Ballymun Road was widened to dual carriageway it has been a dual carriageway for over 30 years, however

  • The Department of Environment and Dublin City Council used the incorrect 1946 Highway Code formula 1957 - 2006.
  • Many incorrect speed limits are enforced as setting speed limits is a, Reserved Function’ of elected councillors.

In 2003, a Speed Limit Review Group of 12 Experts representing 9 different organisations reviewed the Speed Limits in Ireland without addressing the incorrect stopping distance formula and incorrect amber light time.

In 2005 an Expert Group of 12 people including 8 Department of Justice representatives reviewed the Safety Cameras.  Many of the Reference books listed by the Group have been removed and use incorrect information including Down with Speed, TRL Report 325 by Quimby A R and Watts G R (1981), TRL, Report LR1004.

In 2013, an Expert Group of 18 people from 10 different Organisations Reviewed the speed Limits and decided; to leave the authority to set speed limits a ‘Reserved Function’ of elected councillors, remove the 80 km/h sign and replace it with a sign without a number.  The new sign means that drivers must use their own judgement but must never exceed 80 km/h in any case.

  • This must surely be one of the greatest contradictions since the invention of speed limits and motor cars

In 2016, Ciarán Cuffe was Dublin City Council Chairperson and having installed ramps for many years now decided to reduce most speed limits in Dublin to 30 km/h, without addressing the incorrect stopping distance formula and incorrect 3 second amber light time.

On 18 09 2013, Ref; REP3228/PH/13, the Minister for Environment Phil Hogan responded; This Department ceased to have any role with road matters back in 2002. Responsibility for road policy and legislation transferred to the newly formed Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport. To be of assistance, your email has been forwarded to Mr Leo Varadkar T.D., Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport for his attention and direct reply to you, however

  • Minister Hogan was unaware that he had retained overall responsibility for setting speed limits

On 28 11 2011, Mr Gay Byrne confirmed that the Road Safety Authority do not set speed limits and in 2016, Mr Gay Byrne, Ministers Hogan and Varadkar have left their positions in road safety.

On 23 10 2015, Ref: PD/15/10240, Minister Paschal Donohoe responded by referring my discovery on incorrect stopping distances to the office of Mr Michael Aherne, Head of Transport Development Division, for his attention and direct reply. Mr Michael Aherne was a member of the 2013 Speed Review Group with RSA Press Officer Brian Farrell but he has not responded by 09 03 2017.

On 11 11 2015, Ref: PD/15/10483, Minister Paschal Donohoe responded by referring my discovery on the incorrect timing of the amber/yellow traffic lights at 3 seconds to the office of Ms. Anne Graham, NTA Chief Executive Officer, for her attention and direct reply, but she has not responded by 09 03 2017.

  • Minister Paschal Donohoe is now replaced by Minister Shane Ross at the Transport Department, while drivers crash due to the incorrect stopping distance formulas and drivers receive penalty points for disobeying amber/yellow lights.