30kph Limits – MAG Ireland Position Statement

As part of the Road Traffic Act of 2004, a facility for Local Authorities to apply a 30kph limit was introduced. 30kph limits are intended to be used in specific locations, such as pedestrian-centric areas, shopping precincts and school entrances. 30kph limits are often introduced alongside other engineering remedies such as rising bollards or pinch points used to control vehicular traffic in heavily pedestrianised urban environments.

MAG does not oppose the use of 30kph limits in such contexts.

However, on 1st January 2010, Dublin City Council introduced a blanket 30kph limit over a large area. MAG is opposed to such arbitrary 30kph limits for the following reasons.

1. The 30kph limit was never intended for blanket imposition across a very large area.
2. 30kph limits on key arterial routes simply frustrates ordinary law abiding motorists and undermines the stated intention of improving road safety.
3. The arbitrary nature in which Dublin City Council imposed this limit undermines the credibility of the council and it’s elected representatives.
4. There is no statistical road safety justification for imposing 30kph limits on key arterial routes.
5. Applying unrealistically low limits creates an unnecessary extra burden for the Gardai tasked with enforcing them, thus diverting enforcement efforts from genuine high risk locations.

MAG believes that this limit has been applied more for reasons of ideology than for reasons of safety, there being no statistical or engineering rationale for it’s blanket imposition.

MAG believes that for speed limits to be accepted, they need to be appropriate & rational. MAG calls for an end to blanket imposition of 30kph limits, and for a return to a properly engineered approach whereby such limits are used only in the context for which they were originally devised, and then only as part of a package of engineering measures to protect pedestrian safety.

Blatantly inappropriate speed limits do nothing but damage public support for road safety in general, and MAG is strongly opposed to such limits at whatever speed they are set.