Seanad debates

Tuesday, 3 October 2006

Road Traffic and Transport Bill 2006: Second Stage


4:00 pm

John Dardis (Progressive Democrats)

It is obvious there are dangers in such behaviour. I am not sure how it can be dealt with in practice.

The level of adherence to the rules of the road is an important issue. In my home town of Newbridge, for example, cyclists and pedestrians seem to ignore red lights. This problem can be solved if we ensure that children are taught the rules of the road, possibly in civics lessons. When many children leave their school for the day, they go straight through the lights irrespective of whether they are red, green or amber.

I am concerned about inconsistencies in the setting of speed limits. I am aware of a dual carriageway that used to be deemed to be a national road, but it has been redesignated as a regional road following the opening of a bypass. The road was perfectly capable of carrying traffic at the old 60 mph speed limit, which is equivalent to the new 100 km/h limit, but it is no longer seen as suitable because it is now a regional road. That does not seem to make sense. If the standard of the road was good enough before the new road was opened, it is still good enough now. It is a bit like the principle I outlined when I was talking about blood alcohol levels the morning after alcohol is consumed.

I have raised previously the issue of signage. The Minister is familiar with the junction on the M7 where one can take the M9 towards Waterford. If one is on the road to Cork or Limerick, having passed the exit for Waterford, one will see signs for certain towns which are on the Waterford road. That is a recipe for drivers to decide to stop and reverse towards the junction.


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