The speed limit on the Outer Ring Road ought to be 80 kilometres per hour. That was the most newsworthy finding of a survey undertaken by Young Fine Gael on the road last weekend, which Michelle Clancy reports on in this week’s news section.
The findings of the survey of 200-odd motorists will have come as no surprise to most motorists who use the road on a regular basis – be they heading to Cork or Dunmore East.
A ludicrous situation exists where upon leaving the multi-million euro dual carriageway one can put the foot down on the narrow roads leading to Butlerstown and Tramore and travel ‘safely’ at 80 kph. Anomalies like this are the bane of motorists’ lives and sum up the current ‘How Irish’ predicament we continue to endure behind the wheel.
To anyone caught via a Garda speed gun on the Outer Ring Road, my sympathies. Given that the physical barrier on the middle of the carriageway renders the possibility of anyone on foot running across either lane, the 60kph limit remains laughable.
Waterford City Council, as far as Young Fine Gael understands, is currently examining speed limits on the road in question. The motorists of Waterford have been questioning the speed limit ever since the road was opened.
One of the reasons given for the lack of any immediate raising of the speed limit is due to the number of roundabouts on the Outer Ring Road, which begs a couple of questions.
Drivers know they have to slow down in advance of any roundabout. Whether the speed limit is 60 or 80kph, drivers would still decelerate in plenty of time.
It also makes one wonder why a few more flyovers weren’t considered when the road was in its initial design stage – as should have been the case for the Piltown-Fiddown bypass.
As things stand, a person driving completely safely on a top class road surface, be it at 65, 70 or 80kph, can be deemed a danger by a Garda wielding a speed gun.
Garda checkpoints are not as regular a presence as once they were on the road – surely a triumph for common sense policing over police state politics.
However, the speed limit as it stands leaves the force shooting fish in a barrel when it comes to so-called speeding offences on the Outer Ring Road.
No one in favour of a speed limit increase is in favour of high-speed driving, as Young Fine Gael intimated earlier this week. This is about using something which, over the years when it comes to road traffic laws, hasn’t always been plentiful: common sense.
So let’s have some common sense from the City Council on this matter and have the speed limit raised to 80kph sooner rather than later. Please?