Minister Launches Road Safety Strategy

Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport Leo Varadkar has launched the Government's fourth Road Safety Strategy today at the Road Transport Safety Conference on Serious Injuries.

The Strategy – 'Closing the Gap' - will run until 2020 and aims to make Ireland one of the safest countries in terms of road deaths in the EU. It will also focus on new measures to reduce the number and severity of serious injuries arising from road collisions.

The new Strategy sets a specific target for 2020 to reduce the number of road deaths to 124 a year (from 162 in 2012) and serious injuries to 330 per year (from 485 in 2012). This drop is necessary to close the gap between Ireland and other best performing countries such as the UK, Netherlands, Sweden and Australia.

Minister Varadkar said: "This is a significant day for road safety as we launch the new Government Road Safety Strategy. Ireland has made huge advances, and was the fifth safest country in the EU in 2011. Ireland outperformed the EU average in reducing road fatalities by 12% in 2012. The RSA is responsible for the overall implementation of the Strategy and will report to me annually on implementation. Together we now want to make Ireland one of the safest countries in the EU in terms of road deaths, if not the world.

"However, I am very concerned about the number of road fatalities since the beginning of this year. It is a stark reminder to us all that we cannot become complacent where road safety is concerned. The fatalities have increased on the same period in 2012 and, while it is too early in the year to try to identify patterns, it does serve to demonstrate that we must continue to be vigilant when using the roads. We must step up our good behaviour as drivers, continue enforcement and keeping educating drivers and reminding the public of their responsibilities as road users and the human cost of road traffic collisions. I want to take this opportunity again to appeal to all road users to redouble their efforts in road safety. Any progress made over the last decade can be erased very quickly."


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