Written Answers. - Road Signs.

Michael P. Kitt

Question:

92 Mr. M. Kitt asked the Minister for the Environment the figures for the number of accidents involving tourists driving on the wrong side of the road for the past five years; the measures, if any, he proposes to take to improve information on the rules of the road; his views on whether a workable solution can be found; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9317/97]

Michael P. Kitt

Question:

93 Mr. M. Kitt asked the Minister for the Environment if he will hold discussions with all car hire companies and the Car Rental Council in relation to the question of adequate signs and stickers to remind tourists to drive on the left hand side of the road in view of the number of road accidents involving tourists; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9318/97]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 92 and 93 together.

The reports available on road accidents do not provide information in relation to the number of accidents involving tourists driving on the wrong side of the road.
Last September, I introduced a new multi-lingual road traffic sign to warn drivers of the requirement to drive on the left-hand side of the road. Details of the sign are set out in a comprehensive new traffic signs manual, published last December, and a copy of which is available in the Oireachtas Library. The erection of the new sign is a matter for the individual road authorities.
The National Safety Council's information leaflet for tourists is distributed to the major car hire firms, including all of the firms operating from the airports and ferry terminals. This leaflet provides information on the Rules of the Road in three languages, including clear advice that all traffic must drive on the left. While I have no immediate proposals to hold discussions on the matter with car hire companies or the Car Rental Council, I will continue to keep under review the question of what further action could be taken to minimise the risk of accidents of the kind referred to.