As thousands of children return to school this week local TD Denis Naughten has urged motorists to exercise caution and reduce their speed voluntarily when in the vicinity of schools.
“Since the introduction of metric speed limits, the speed limits outside some of our schools have increased by two mph to 62 mph (100km/h) making it perfectly legal for motorists to zoom by these schools at speeds of 100km/h. At speeds of 100km/h, however, collisions with pedestrians are invariably fatal,” stated Deputy Naughten.
“Ireland already has the highest child fatality record in Western Europe with over 250 children killed or injured while walking on our roads annually.
“International research has shown that the frequency and severity of road crashes decreases with reductions in speed. On average, a four percent reduction in crashes occurs for every one km/h decrease in average speed.
Deputy Naughten continued: “The results of a 20 mph (30 km/h) speed reduction initiative in Scotland showed a 60 percent reduction in the number of recorded accidents after the introduction of the scheme, with child pedestrian accidents falling by 70 percent.
“Speed limits outside schools can, and should be, reduced but a lack of funding from the Department of Transport has delayed the introduction of such a safety measure.
“I am appealing to motorists to use their common sense and reduce their speeds when approaching schools,” concluded Deputy Naughten.