Written Answers. - Urban Speeding Policy.

Eoin Ryan

Question:

345 Mr. E. Ryan asked the Minister for the Environment his policy on speeding in urban areas. [16531/96]

Section 45 of the Road Traffic Act, 1961, provides that roads in builtup areas, other than motorways, are subject to a speed limit of 30 mph. However, local authorities have power to apply a higher speed limit to particular roads where they deem it appropriate. My approval is not required for decisions of this kind.

Section 38 of the Road Traffic Act. 1994, provides that road authorities may, in the interests of the safety and convenience of road users, provide such traffic calming measures as they consider desirable for public roads in their charge. Guidance notes on the implementation of these provisions were issued by my Department to road authorities in 1994; they outline measures for urban, residential and rural areas.

In addition to the requirement that a driver must obey a speed limit, there is a general obligation on all drivers not to drive at a speed exceeding that which will enable them to halt their vehicles within the distance they can see to be clear. Drivers are constantly reminded of the need to avoid excessive speed through the promotional campaigns of the National Safety Council.

The enforcement of the law as it applies to speed is a matter for the Garda Síochána. To assist in this respect, and to provide for a more immediate deterrent, I intend to make regulations next month introducing an "on-the-spot" fine for speeding offences.