Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar has announced plans for a nationwide audit of speed limits to ensure that all speed restrictions are both safe and sensible.

The Department of Transport will engage with the National Roads Authority and local authorities to conduct the nationwide audit.

Speed limit bands are set by the Minister for Transport, however the limits applied on particular roads are determined by local authorities in consultation with gardaí.

In the case of national primary and secondary roads, local authorities also consult with the NRA.

According to the Department, the aim of the audit is to start overhauling inconsistencies between different counties and regions, and to put an end to confusion among drivers.

The audit is the first step in a process that is expected to take some time.

Minister Varadkar is encouraging members of the public to highlight their concerns about speed limits with their local authorities.

Speaking at a sod turning on two road schemes in Co Westmeath, Mr Varadkar said: "We all know of cases where speed limits are inappropriately low or inappropriately high.

"Recent road safety measures like speed cameras and new drink-driving laws have gone a long way towards improving road safety.

"However, we need to ensure that the right speed limits are in operation on the right roads."