Local authorities already have the necessary statutory powers under section 9 of the Road Traffic Act 2004 to provide for a Special Speed Limit of 30 kilometres per hour outside of schools if they deem such a limit to be appropriate and necessary. A Special Speed Limit may also include a periodic speed limit which can be designed to apply and operate at specified periods, for example when children are arriving at, or leaving a school during term time. The consent of the Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) is required when Special Speed Limits are being applied on national roads.
To assist local authorities in the application of Special Speed Limits, my Department's Guidelines for Setting and Managing Speed Limits in Ireland, published in March 2015, provides detailed guidance on the application of Special Speed Limits outside of schools and is available to all local authorities. These Guidelines reiterate that the making of Special Speed Limit by-laws is a matter for the Elected Members of local authorities, subject to following Department Guidelines and to the consent of TII in the case of national roads.
In consideration of a nationwide 30 kilometres per hour speed limit outside schools during term time, in view of the statutory provisions already available to local authorities, it is my view that the introduction of Special Speed Limits can be best addressed through discussions between all interested parties locally, including council officials and Elected Members, community groups, An Garda Síochána and TII rather than being centrally imposed.