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UN Global Road Safety Week

This is UN Global Road Safety Week and the theme for 2021 is Streets for Life #Love30. The United Nations and the World Health Organisation endorse 30 km/h speed limits where people walking and cycling mix with traffic. 30 km/h is also mandated by the Stockholm Convention which Ireland signed up to last year.

Why 30 km/h where people walk, cycle or play? A 30km/h speed limit introduces calmer, safer roads and shorter braking distance. It gives the driver a better view of their surroundings and makes it easier for them to see any pedestrians crossing the road, cyclists and other vehicles and allows more time for drivers to react to the unexpected.

30 km/h saves lives. If hit by a vehicle travelling at 30 km/h 9 out of 10 people will survive. If the vehicle is travelling at 60 km/h 9 out of ten people hit will die. At 50 km an hour 5 out of 10 people will die. So, the laws of physics are clear. In Ireland, Road traffic injuries rank among the top four causes of death for all children after infancy

‘Streets for Life’ has never been more important, as people spend more time in their own localities. 30km/h makes our cities, towns, and villages safer places to live.  It allows children and those with limited mobility to move more freely and it creates vibrant people-friendly spaces.

Several countries are introducing default 30 km/h speed limits in all urban areas including The Netherlands, Spain, and Wales (20 m/h). Some locations have speed limits as low as 10 km/h. Along with Love 30, and the Irish Road Victims Association, Sligo cycling Campaign believe that Ireland, as a signatory of the Stockholm Declaration, must follow this best international practice and legislate for a default 30 km/h limit in all built-up areas. Now is the time to urgently deliver on this call to action by reducing, designing, and enforcing traffic speeds that are safe for everyone, everywhere, prioritising low speed streets in all residential areas and near schools.

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