A proposal to be discussed by the Attard council seeks to impose a lower speed limit in the locality ’s residential roads.
Alternattiva Demokratika councillor Ralph Cassar this week submitted a motion calling for the maximum speed limit in all the locality ’s residential roads to be reduced to 30 kilometres per hour from the national limit of 40kph.
No date has yet been set for the motion to be discussed, but its proponent insists it is intended to promote greater road safety for pedestrians. “I have received a number of complaints on over-speeding from residents, and many feel uncomfortable allowing their children to walk alone on pavements or using their bicycles to travel around the locality,” Mr Cassar said.
Last month the European Parliament adopted the Koch report on road safety, which suggested more incentives to encourage people to walk, cycle and make use of public transport.
Reducing speed limits in built-up areas is one of the proposals in the report and is seen as a significant measure in lowering the number of fatal or near-fatal accidents. The report does not have any legislative bearing.
In his motion Mr Cassar says the council’s initiative to install a number of bicycle racks in the locality was intended to encourage people to cycle, but many felt “uncomfortable” doing so because of traffic.
Quoting EU statistics, the motion says that while only five per cent of people hit by a car travelling at 32kph die, the number of fatalities shoots up to 45 per cent when the car is travelling at 48kph.
Mr Cassar said there was a direct link between high speeds and increased fatalities, which prompted him to make the proposal. “All residential roads under the council ’s jurisdiction should have a speed limit of 30kph but the discussion eventually should lead to having a number of roads designated as mixed use where pedestrians and cars can intermingle safely,” he said. The motion called on Transport Malta to implement the council’s decision within one month of it being approved.