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10km/h ..that's the limit; GARDAI GIVE DRIVERS A BREAK ON METRIC SPEED.

Byline: TIM DOYLE

MOTORISTS will be allowed to exceed the new metric speed limits by 10km/h before they are penalised, the Irish Mirror can reveal.

Gardai on traffic duty in Dublin will give the benefit of the doubt to those breaking the limits by up to 10km/h.

That means that those driving at 130km/h on motorways including the M50, which has a speed limit of 120km/h, will not be punished.

An informed source said: "No speed detection equipment is 100 per cent accurate, so gardai in Dublin are giving motorists a bit of latitude.

"Officers use their own discretion but the vast majority of officers won't be ticketing those breaking the limit by 10km/h.

"However, no leeway will be given outside schools or in places with a lot of pedestrians."

"There is little point in officers ticketing someone for being 5km/h over the limit when it might not hold up in court. It would be a waste of taxpayers' money. Instead gardai will be targeting the worst speeding offenders."

The new metric speed system, introduced a week ago, has cost pounds 11million to implement with more than EUR2million spent on an advertising campaign.

More than 58,000 signs have been erected on major and rural roads.

The new motorway speed limit is 120km/h (74mph), up four miles on the previous limit of 70mph.

Speed limits on rural roads have a top range of 100km/h (60mph), while rural regional roads have changed from 60mph to 80km/h (50mph) - a 20 per cent reduction.

The old 40mph and 30mph limits have been set at 60km/h (37mph) and 50km/h (31mph).

The insider added: "With all the new signs, obviously motorists will make mistakes this is a common sense approach to smooth the metric transition."

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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jan 27, 2005
Words:306
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