As Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport, I have responsibility for overall policy in relation to roads.
While the Road Traffic Act 2004 sets default speed limits for various categories of road, elected members of local authorities have the statutory responsibility for deciding on and making appropriate Special Speed Limit bye-laws for roads within their administrative area, subject to the consent of Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) for National Roads.
In reference to rural sections of road, which would fall under local and regional roads, a default speed limit of 80 km/h is the set speed limit. To guide local authorities in the application of these Special Speed Limits, my Department's updated Guidelines for Setting and Managing Speed Limits in Ireland , in 2015 is available to all local authorities. This sets out a range of criteria as to the setting of Speed Limits and reiterates the statutory responsibilities of elected members in relation to the making of such Special Speed Limit bye-laws.
It is important to remember that drivers are obliged to drive in accordance with the particular conditions in any situation, and the local and regional roads speed limit is not in any way an indication of the appropriate speed for any particular stretch of road. Failure to take account of the conditions at a particular location or time can lead to prosecution of a driver for careless or even dangerous driving.