Speed Limits

  • At yesterday’s monthly meeting of Ballina Municipal District , councillors were critical of Minister Shane Ross’s proposals to introduce incremental fines for speeding, accusing the Minister of being out of touch with rural communities .

    Earlier this week, the Transport Minister presented a proposed new system for fining motorists caught speeding, to his cabinet colleagues. The new system would see motorists charged a higher amount and given higher penalty points, the more they're caught driving over the speed limit.

    All but one of the elected councillors at yesterday’s meeting spoke against the proposals and accused Minister Ross of frightening rural people with what they termed “kite flying”.

    They said the Minister appeared to have briefed the media about his proposals before he went into Tuesday’s cabinet meeting.

     Independent councillor Seamus Weir was the first cllr yesterday to condemn the Minister’s proposals.The proposals are that anyone  caught 10 kilometres over the speed limit will get 2 penalty points and an 80 euro fine, while  a driver 30 kilometres over would get 6 points on their licence and a 200 euro fine.All councillors with the exception of Independent cllr Gerry Ginty were highly critical of these proposals yesterday.

    In addition the Minister is proposing an 80 euro fine and automatic penalty points for any driver who doesn't have their drivers licence to hand if they're pulled over by the Gardai.

    That part of Minister Ross’s proposals was condemned by all cllrs, including cllr Ginty – saying it was impractical, if for example, you had to bring someone to a hospital in an emergency,  it’s unreasonable they argued  to expect a driver to first check if their drivers licence is in their pocket.

    The Cathaoirleach of Ballina Municipal District, FF cllr Michael Smyth said it is important to have public debate and engagement about proposals like these that will impact on all drivers, but particularly on rural road users, and in light of the new drink driving laws that are also impacting more on rural rather than urban communities.

    At the outset all cllrs said they appreciate that speed can kill and that drink driving is not acceptable and they condemned both - but at the same time, they do not believe that punitive penalties and fines is the only answer – as they argued they hit rural communities more.

     

  • The urgent need to reduce the speed limit at Breaffy village outside Castlebar will be highlighted at a meeting later this week of the Castlebar Municipal District of Mayo County Council.

    Cathaoirleach Michael Kilcoyne is to raise the matter on Thursday, following another collision at Breaffy which took place on Saturday night.

    A Norwegian woman suffered serious head injuries after being struck by a car near the entrance to Breaffy House Hotel, while her partner sustained minor injuries.

    Before this collision occurred, Councillor Kilcoyne had requested that the matter be included on the agenda for this week's council meeting, and says councillors are prepared to lead the local community in whatever action they decide to take to ensure the speed limit is reduced from 100 km/h to 60.

  • Erecting  80km per hour speed signs along third class/ minor roads across the county is almost an invitation for visitors to travel that speed on roads that simply can’t accommodate that speed and many local communities are concerned about the development.

    That’s according to Killala based Fine Gael Councillor Jarlath Munnelly and the Councillor raised his concern at this week’s monthly meeting of Ballina Municipal District. He called instead for speed limiting signs to be erected along such routes.

  • In excess of 200 people attended a protest today in the village of Breaffy over speed limits there.

    The protest was held outside St John’s National School as people gathered to voice their frustration that the speed limit on the N60 road which runs through the village, has not been reduced to 60km per hour. The road has already seen a number of serious collisions occur.

    The protest was organised by Castlebar Municipal District Councillors, who say they have exhausted all other avenues with the TII to have the speed limit reduced.

  • Members of the business community in Ballina are seeking a meeting with local elected councillors to outline their frustration with elected councillors’ failure to listen and take on the concerns of businesses in the town, as a new speed limit of 80km per hour is set to be introduced on the N58 main Foxford to Ballyvary road.

    That’s according to the President of Ballina Chamber of Commerce Hugh Rouse.

    Mr Rouse told Midwest News this morning that at last month’s meeting of Ballina Municipal District some councillors appeared to question the authenticity of the one thousand signatures secured by Ballina businesses - objecting to the TII decision to reduce the speed limit along this stretch of road that links Ballina to Castlebar.

    The business group had asked councillors to seek a meeting between themselves and the TII to outline in detail business concerns about the reduction to the speed limit proposed.

    Councillors voted not to seek such a meeting between both sides.

    Mr Rouse, who declined to go on air this morning, told Midwest News that Ballina Chamber is the third largest chamber in Connaught and he said it appears that local councillors are not listening to its concerns.

    He added that multinationals and local businesses in Ballina are all concerned about the impact on business if the speed limits are, as planned, reduced from  100km per hour to 80km per hour, along the Foxford to Ballyvary road.

  • A protest over speed limits in Breaffy will go ahead as planned tomorrow.

    That’s according to the Cathaoirleach of Castlebar Municipal District Cllr Michael Kilcoyne.

    Elected members have organised the protest, as they say they have exhausted all avenues open to them to impress on the TII the need to reduce the speed limit at Breaffy, the scene of many collisions and a number of fatalities.

    The TII has proposed installing flashing lights close to the school, at school times and reducing the speed limit to 60km during school times and 80km per hour for the rest of time. However Councillors say the community was looking for the limit to be reduced to 60km per hour across the board.

    Cllr Kilcoyne says that the latest TII proposals are not going far enough, given the volume of traffic in the area.

    A meeting took place in St John’s School in Breaffy last night to discuss the latest proposals from TII.

    A spokesperson for the Breaffy Road Safety Group told Midwest News today that 100% of the people in attendance at the meeting want the speed limit reduced to 60km per hour. They have decided to hold further discussions to see how that objective can be achieved. The spokesperson also told Midwest News that it is up to individuals as to whether or not they attend tomorrow’s protest.

    Cllr Kilcoyne told Midwest News today that the protest will go ahead tomorrow as planned.