Sign now! 30kph for liveable streets

The Dublin Cycling Campaign supports a new campaign to make 30kph the default speed limit in European cities. A new European Citizen’s Initiative aims to get one million people to support 30kph as the default speed limit in urban and residential areas. Local authorities should only be allowed set higher speed limits when they can show how the safety needs of vulnerable road users have been met. Sign here to add your support!

30kph is important for road safety because it can reduce serious collisions by up to 70%. Research by the Swedish Road Safety Agency (Vagverket 2003) has shown that the survival rates for pedestrians and cyclists involved in road traffic accidents increases dramatically when speeds are reduced. Only 20% of people will survive a collision with a vehicle travelling at 50kph, while 90% will survive one at 30kph.

Most traffic noise is caused by cars accelerating and braking. Reduced speeds mean less noise and air pollution. So people can walk, talk, and cycle without having to compete with traffic noise and fumes.

30kph has already been shown to improve road safety in parts of Dublin! A 30kph speed limit was introduced in Dublin City Centre in March 2010. Since then the number of fatal accidents and serious injuries has reduced for all road users.

In the UK over a third of local authorities have introduced 30kph zones and more are considering it. Rod King, the found of the 20’s Plenty for Us campaign says “I think people are no longer trying to justify it only in terms of road safety. This is about making places better places to be. There is recognition of very wide benefits. There is a cultural shift that cars can’t blight our communities like they have done in the past. It is not about being anti-car. It is about putting it in context of enhanced communities.”

The RSA in their Pedestrian Safety Action Plan 2010-2014 state:

“Across Europe, the introduction of low speed zones (typically 30kph) has been successfully implemented in residential areas, around schools and in shopping areas, with reductions in serious collisions by up to 70% noted. If translated to the Irish context, where the vast amount of deaths and injuries occur in built-up areas (83%), this could have an effective outcome in reducing such collisions.”

The Department of Transport’s National Cycle Policy Framework argues that:

“There is a case for adoption of the standard Northern European Hierarchy of speed limits with 30kph as the standard limit in core urban areas and with reduced limits applied on residential streets (home zones) and at large junctions where there are vulnerable road users in the traffic mix”.

So lower speed limits are supported in theory by the RSA and the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport. However this needs to be translated into measures on the ground so that children can walk and cycle to school in safety.

So if you want safer streets and a liveable city, sign now!

Friday, March 1, 2013

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