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Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Fatal Road Accidents.

Tuesday, 8 February 1966

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 220 No. 7

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38.

Mr. L'Estrange: Information on Gerald L'Estrange Zoom on Gerald L'Estrange asked the Minister for Local Government the number of fatal accidents on the roads during 1965; and what action he intends to take to put an end to slaughter on the roads.

Mr. Blaney: Information on Neil T.C. Blaney Zoom on Neil T.C. Blaney Provisional figures now available show that in the year 1965 there were 344 fatal road accidents resulting in the deaths of 349 people.

As regards the second part of the question, it is my intention to maintain a sustained drive on all fronts. Legislation is being drafted to deal with such problems as that of drink and driving. The programme of road improvement and maintenance carried out by the road authorities with the aid of grants from the Road Fund has a high road safety content and this aspect of their work will get special attention. An Foras Forbartha has been requested to undertake a programme of research into road safety and has [951] initiated work on it. As to the education of the public, the Deputy is no doubt aware of the many intensive road safety campaigns which I have conducted in recent years. These will be continued, and I shall continue to enlist the support of voluntary bodies such as the Safety First Association of Ireland who are doing such excellent work in the field of road safety education. In this connection I might say that the pilot road safety officer service established by the association at my request in 1963 was recently extended and gives promise of achieving worthwhile results.

Mr. L'Estrange: Information on Gerald L'Estrange Zoom on Gerald L'Estrange I am well aware of the work that has been done up to the present but it does not seem to be having the desired effect. Would the Minister consider introducing a speed limit on all roads, such as has been introduced in Britain recently, I think?

Sir Anthony Esmonde: Information on Anthony Charles Esmonde Zoom on Anthony Charles Esmonde Does the Minister not consider that it would be to the benefit of increased safety on the road if there were more signs to ensure safety? It seems to me that the expenditure is largely on removing corners and straightening roads, whereas if there were even distribution of signs to ensure safety, there might not be so many accidents.

Mr. Blaney: Information on Neil T.C. Blaney Zoom on Neil T.C. Blaney Taking the last supplementary question first, I think the Deputy will be aware that a great deal of road signposting has been done over recent years and is continuing. I admit that its application may not be uniform throughout the country. The general overall picture is that a complete signposting, incorporating safety and direction signs, is in hands and is progressing fairly well. We do hope that in the not too distant future it will be completed to the satisfaction of all concerned.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish Zoom on Brendan Corish In his new plans, is the Minister considering greater use of Telefís Éireann for road safety propaganda and publicity?

Mr. Blaney: Information on Neil T.C. Blaney Zoom on Neil T.C. Blaney Yes.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish Zoom on Brendan Corish I trust it will be used to a much greater extent than up to now. [952] It is the most powerful propaganda medium.

Mr. Blaney: Information on Neil T.C. Blaney Zoom on Neil T.C. Blaney I agree. It is costly also.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish Zoom on Brendan Corish The Minister gets cheaper prices.

Mr. Blaney: Information on Neil T.C. Blaney Zoom on Neil T.C. Blaney We are considering having more.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish Zoom on Brendan Corish It is worth it, no matter what you pay for it.

Mr. Blaney: Information on Neil T.C. Blaney Zoom on Neil T.C. Blaney I am not suggesting that it is not. I am saying that we are considering more of it and that will mean, I take it, that we will have more rather than less of it. I cannot say more than that at the moment.


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