Written Answers. - Road Safety.

John Dennehy


382 Mr. Dennehy asked the Minister for Transport if his attention has been drawn to a study carried out for Dublin City Council which indicated that there has been a significant reduction in the number of pedestrians, pedal cyclists and motor cyclists killed on Dublin roads over the four year period of the study; if he will consider requesting other councils to carry out similar studies; and if he will assist them financially to carry out and extend such programmes. [23479/02]

Statistics relating to road accidents, based on information provided by the Garda Síochána, are published by the National Roads Authority in their annual road accident facts reports. The most recent report is in respect of 2000 and that report, along with reports relating to previous years, are available in the Oireachtas Library.

The number of pedestrians, cyclists and motor cyclists killed on Dublin roads, comprising of Dublin county borough, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, Fingal and south Dublin, arising from road accidents from 1997 to 2000 are as follows:






Pedestrian Fatalities





Cyclists Fatalities





Motor Cyclists Fatalities





These figures reveal that in the period referred to, significant reductions in pedestrian and cyclist fatalities have been realised, but that a similar trend is not evident in respect of motor cyclist fatalities. Statistics in respect of pedestrian, cyclist and motor cyclist fatalities on Dublin roads in 2001 and 2002 to date are not available at this time.
I am not aware of the studies to which the Deputy refers.

John Dennehy


383 Mr. Dennehy asked the Minister for Transport if he will give consideration to the use of flexible speed limits which could be indicated by electronic information panels on roads and motorways and which could be adjusted to take account of conditions such as road obstacles or weather conditions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23480/02]

Speed limits are applied at specific locations identified by the road authorities in by-laws made under the Road Traffic Acts. The speed limits that road authorities may apply are set out in either the Acts or in regulations made under them. The road traffic signs regulations provide for a system of regulatory speed limits signs that must be provided at the locations where speed limits are applied. Speed limits reflect the maximum speed that can be driven in the optimum conditions. There is, in addition, a statutory obligation on every driver to adjust their driving, including speed, to the prevailing conditions. Electronic information panels of the kind suggested by the Deputy can provide valuable information and timely warnings to motorists, for example, about hazardous road conditions and are used by the NRA and local authorities for this purpose.

In view of the existing statutory requirements, it is not considered appropriate to apply speed limits in a flexible manner.