No All-Island Speed Limit 8 November 2004
The Department of Transport is going ahead with a range of initiatives to reduce
death and injury on the roads of the Isle of Man.
The move was confirmed by Minister John Shimmin MHK today (November 8, 2004)
following consideration of over 400 responses made to a major public
More than one hundred (112) people were killed on the Island's roads between
1993 and 2003, and more than one thousand (1042) were seriously injured.
The Department will now progress a wide range of initiatives including: raising
the driving test age from 16 to 17; reducing the legal blood alcohol level for
driving from 80ml to 50ml; extending the 'R' plate period for new drivers from
one to two years; the periodic testing of older vehicles; tighter enforcement of
existing laws against unsafe driving; and a renewed emphasis on education,
training and public awareness.
The Department's most contentious proposal - the introduction of a top
all-Island speed limit of 60mph with a 70mph maximum on the Mountain Road - will
not be pursued for the time being.
Of 408 letters submitted in the public consultation, 281 (69%) were firmly
against this proposal. Of those opponents, 42 were from off the Island.
Mr Shimmin explained:
"The public consultation was a valuable exercise to help gather views and
information as evidence to be taken into account. I'd like to thank everyone who
took the trouble to participate.
A public consultation is not binding like a referendum, for example, and the
responses received do not outweigh Government's
duty to do what's best for the whole community. However, we should at least
listen to the feedback and be guided by it in deciding on the next steps.
"The Department will therefore be proceeding with a wide range of other road
safety initiatives. Progress will be closely monitored and we hope that people
will get the message that irresponsible driving is socially unacceptable in this
day and age.
"However, it may well be that further experience and evidence confirm the need
for all-Island speed limits to reinforce the road safety regime."
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