Bray to impose 8mph speed limit?
Bray, 30 December 1913 - An inquiry opened in Bray today to consider an application to have the speed of motor cars within the urban boundaries restricted to a maximum of eight miles an hour. The application was made to the County Council by the Bray Urban Council and the inquiry was established on the agreement that Bray would pay half the cost of the application.
Opposing the application are the Automobile Club, the Automobile Association and the Motor Union, who were represented Solicitor Mr THR Craig. According to Mr Craig, it was not sufficient to throw down a map of Bray and declare it an ‘exceptional town of danger’. Yet Mr James Johnson, overseer to Bray Council, did produce a map and point out several places where accidents had occurred owing to excessive speed on the part of motor cars. To this, Mr Craig countered that if notices had been put up along lines suggested by the Automobile Club, this would not be the case.
The inquiry heard testimony from District Inspector Malony, RIC, who provided official information as to the number of motor accidents in Bray over the previous five years. Another to contribute to the inquiry was Mr Henry George Dunne who stated that the increased motor traffic in Bray had made it dangerous for the workmen of the township and the schoolchildren, while Mr James Magee JP, asserted that the rate of speed in the Main Street and on the Esplanade was excessive, and especially so in the case of motor bicycles.
The opening of the Bray inquiry comes only days after another tragic road death in Co. Wicklow. Mr Patrick Kavanagh, a 49 year-old small farmer and widower, was killed when his body was pinned beneath an upturned car on the roadside at Slievecorragh, about two miles from Hollywood.
[Editor's note: This is an article from Century Ireland, a fortnightly online newspaper, written from the perspective of a journalist 100 years ago, based on news reports of the time.]