Speed limits throughout the Piltown Electoral area must be urgently addressed: that’s the view of Sinn Féin candidate Peadar de Blúit  who has just turned 21.

“If elected, I will immediately act to see speed limits reduced,” he pledged.

“In many built-up rural areas, speed limits of 80 kilometres an hour do not take into account people living in the areas, especially if there are young children in those areas.

“On many occasions, too many to count in rural South Kilkenny, I have seen cars tearing down back roads, with little or no regard for what lies around the corner.”

He added: “For example, if a child were to run onto the road after a ball, or simply be crossing the road, a speed limit of 80 kph would hardly suffice as a stopping distance.

“If the speed limits were reduced to 60 kph, then the stopping distance reduces by up to 40 per cent, giving the driver a much better chance of avoiding anything that might be ahead.”

The absence of speed traps throughout the electoral area serves only to compound the issue, according to the Sinn Féin candidate.

“Motorists who choose to ignore the set speed limits often do so in an unimpeded manner. The reason this persists stems from the underfunding of An Garda Síochána.”

He added: “It is the duty of whoever is elected on June 5th to lobby government TDs to increase Garda funding so that they can ensure, as best they can, that speed limits in rural areas are adhered to.

“Travelling 20 kilometres an hour faster on rural roads increases the stopping distance by over half, thereby making rural roads extremely dangerous for those living there – especially young children.”

As a daily issue, Mr de Blúit said this was just the sort of topic which locally elected politicians had no other option but to address in an urgent, civic-minded manner. But, in his view, those currently holding Kilkenny County Council seats had failed to do so.

“What is needed in South Kilkenny after the elections are people who will represent the residents to the best of their ability. And that is something I intend to do if chosen by the people.”