Written answers

Thursday, 18 October 2007

5:00 pm

Photo of Tommy BroughanTommy Broughan (Dublin North East, Labour)
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Question 77: To ask the Minister for Transport the progress in completing a new road safety strategy; the budget he proposes to allocate to it over its duration; when he expects to publish same; the action he proposes to take under section 41 of the Roads Act 1993 or otherwise to review the use of wire crash barriers on roads here; if he will make a submission on behalf of the Government to the EU Standards Committee review of the use of wire crash barriers; when he proposes to legislate for the compulsory fitting of cyclops mirrors on all heavy good vehicles; if he has plans to amend legislation to make it a specific requirement of cyclists to wear high visibility clothing and to require the mandatory usage of safety helmets by children and young people using bicycles; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24244/07]

Photo of Charles FlanaganCharles Flanagan (Laois-Offaly, Fine Gael)
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Question 100: To ask the Minister for Transport if he has received recommendations from the Road Safety Authority on road safety measures; the details of those recommendations; the legislative changes required; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24370/07]

Photo of Noel DempseyNoel Dempsey (Meath West, Fianna Fail)
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I propose to take Questions Nos. 77 and 100 together.

The Road Safety Authority (RSA), who have responsibility for its development, have submitted to me a draft Road Safety Strategy for the period 2007-2012. I intend to launch this new strategy, in conjunction with the RSA in the coming weeks. The issue of the type of barrier to be used on national roads is a matter for the National Roads Authority (NRA) under the Roads Act 1993. The NRA is a member of the European Committee for Standardisation of Safety Barriers.

The NRA, as a matter of practice, keep road design standards, including safety aspects, under regular review and I understand that they are currently carrying out research on the use of wire barriers across Europe. In accordance with EU Directive 2003/97 new HGVs entering into service from 26 January 2007 must be equipped with enhanced mirrors including cyclops mirrors to improve the fields of indirect vision of drivers of these vehicles.

In the case of HGVs which entered into service between I January 2000 and 25 January 2007 the European Union has recently adopted a directive (EU Directive 2007/38) which provides for the retrofitting of enhanced mirrors on the passenger side of these vehicles to be undertaken by 31 March 2009. During consideration of this directive as a proposal, Ireland together with a number of Member States, sought unsuccessfully to have it expanded to include the retrofitting of cyclops mirrors. However, the European Commission undertook to consider further the question of accidents associated with blind spots on HGVs.

Finally, under the Road Safety Authority Act 2006 (Conferral of Functions) Order 2006 (S.I. No. 477 of 2006) the issue of wearing high visibility clothing and the mandatory usage of safety helmets by cyclists is now a matter for the Road Safety Authority.


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