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Written Answers. - Road Safety.

Tuesday, 26 November 2002

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 558 No. 1

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 72. Mr. Naughten Information on Denis Naughten Zoom on Denis Naughten  asked the Minister for Transport Information on Seamus Brennan Zoom on Seamus Brennan  the outstanding elements on the road to safety strategy. [23487/02]

Minister for Transport (Mr. Brennan): Information on Seamus Brennan Zoom on Seamus Brennan The Government is strongly pursuing the implementation of its Strategy for Road Safety, 1998-2002, the first ever national road safety strategy to be adopted by the Government. The strategy has prioritised a systematic and co-ordinated set of measures for preventing and reducing road accidents. It established quantified targets for achieving its objectives, the principal of which was to reduce road deaths and serious injuries by at least 20% each by 2002 relative to 1997. Priority is accorded by the strategy to actions targeted at speeding, alcohol, seat belt wearing and vulnerable road users. A timetable for key actions in these and other areas is also set out.

The Government strategy is monitored by the high level group on road safety. The group has produced a series of annual progress reports. The fourth progress report was published recently. Copies of all four reports have been circulated to all Deputies and are also available in the Oireachtas Library.

All actions outlined in the strategy have been progressed and most have been completed. The fourth progress report outlines those actions which have been already completed, those which are due for completion by the end of this year, and those which are ongoing. Those which are due for completion include the making of regulations to introduce a requirement to carry a driving licence, the carrying out of a further speed and seatbelt survey, and the carrying out of research into drugs and driving. Work is at an advanced stage in all these areas.

The requirement to carry a driving licence is being introduced on 1 January 2003. A further speed and seatbelt survey has been carried out by [161] the National Roads Authority and will be published shortly. The extensive survey into drugs and driving conducted during 2000 and 2001 by the Medical Bureau of Road Safety will identify true trends in the types of drugs being taken, their combination with alcohol and the extent of polydrug use. The confirmation analysis of specimens will continue into 2002 and the data collection and report is also scheduled for publication shortly.

Question No. 73 answered with Question No. 55.

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