Why a 30km/h city speed limit is a good idea

New Dublin City Council 30km/h speed limits come into effect writes Geraldine Herbert

A 30km/h speed limit has been extended to all residential roads within Dublin’s canals and will be  further extended to Sandymount, Glasnevin, Crumlin and Cabra from May. A detailed map of the areas now included can be accessed here.

Reducing speed limits is rarely supported by drivers but here are five reasons why the reduction should be welcomed.

  1. Reduced speeds not only reduce the severity of collisions but slower speeds allows drivers to brake and stop in shorter distance. It is estimated that less than 10% of pedestrians would die when struck by a vehicle travelling at 30 km/h, compared with fatality rates of 26% at 40 km/h and over 80% at 50 km/h.
  2. Lower speeds can reduce traffic noise, a 30 km/h urban speed limit reduces noise by 40% or 3 decibels.
  3. Cars emit fewer pollutants at a maximum speed of 30 km/h than at 50 km/h due to a smoother flow of traffic.
  4. Many drivers argue that lower speed limits increase journey time rather they may shorten  due to less lane. changing friction, less speed dispersion and fewer accidents as travel speed is dependent on a myriad of factors including road type and congestion.
  5. Safer roads means increased road use by cyclists, children, old people and those with disabilities.


Geraldine Herbert

1st April, 2017

Author: Geraldine Herbert

Motoring Editor and Columnist for the Sunday Independent and editor of wheelsforwomen. Geraldine is also a regular contributor to Good Housekeeping (UK) and to RTÉ Radio One, Newstalk, TodayFM and BBC Radio. You can follow Geraldine on Twitter at @GerHerbert1

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