Dáil debates

Thursday, 21 March 2024

Ceisteanna ar Sonraíodh Uain Dóibh - Priority Questions

Road Safety

10:30 am

Photo of Eamon RyanEamon Ryan (Dublin Bay South, Green Party) | Oireachtas source

Published in December 2021, the Government’s road safety strategy 2021–2030 has the target of reducing road deaths and serious injuries by 50% this decade and achieving Vision Zero by 2050. Vision Zero has been adopted across the EU and aims to eliminate deaths and serious injuries on our roads. The second annual review of the road safety strategy took place on 18 January, where road safety partners and agencies reviewed progress in the context of reversing the alarming trend of an increase in road fatalities. In addition to closing out phase 1 of the strategy this year, I prioritised certain actions for the coming year. This includes the development of a national strategy for camera-based enforcement, addressing the multiple learner permit issue, and enhancing road safety education.

Work has also commenced on implementing the recommendations of the speed limit review, published last September. The safer default speed limits called for by the review will be legislated for in the Road Traffic Bill 2024, which we intend to see enacted into law shortly after Easter. Updated guidelines for local authorities will be published shortly thereafter and, with these pieces in place, local authorities can then commence their own speed limit reviews. In addition to legislating for safer default speed limits, the Road Traffic Bill will also seek to introduce mandatory drug testing at the scene of serious traffic collisions and reform the penalty points system so motorists receive multiple sets of penalty points where multiple offences are committed. Furthermore, in response to the rising trend in fatalities last year, last October, my Department conveyed sanction for the Road Safety Authority, RSA, to spend additional funds on increased public awareness campaigns in the final months of last year and early months of this year.

Road safety is a foremost priority for me and the Department. Everyone is entitled to use our roads and, importantly, to be safe on our roads. We will continue to make sure every measure is taken to try to reduce the level of deaths and serious injuries.


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