Wednesday, 28 January 2004

Questions (47, 48, 49)

Dinny McGinley

Question:

146 Mr. McGinley asked the Minister for Transport when he will publish his new road safety strategy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2290/04]

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Enda Kenny

Question:

155 Mr. Kenny asked the Minister for Transport the steps he intends to take for road safety; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2289/04]

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Ruairí Quinn

Question:

176 Mr. Quinn asked the Minister for Transport if he has received the report of the high level group on a new road safety strategy for the years 2003 to 2005; when it is intended to publish the report; if proposals arising from the report have been brought to Government; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2137/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 146, 155 and 176 together.

The programme for Government states that a three-year road safety strategy will be developed and will target speeding, drink-driving, seat-belt wearing and pedestrian safety in order to reduce deaths and injuries.

The high level group on road safety has prepared a draft new strategy for the period 2004 to 2006 and I expect to bring specific proposals for the strategy to Government shortly.

The preparation of the new strategy has taken account of the achievements in meeting the targets set out in the road to safety strategy 1998-2002, a comprehensive review of that strategy and further positive trends established in 2003, and the evolving developments in relation to the EU third road safety action plan.

The strategy will outline a range of issues that it is intended will be pursued over the period in question. In overall terms, measures will focus on the areas of education, enforcement, engineering and legislation and will target the key areas of speeding, driving while intoxicated and seat-belt wearing.

Pending the publication of a new strategy, my Department and all the agencies concerned with the implementation of road safety measures are ensuring that the successful measures brought forward under the Road to Safety initiative continue to be implemented. The number of road deaths which occurred in 2003, at 341, was the lowest number of deaths in almost 40 years.

Question No 147 answered with QuestionNo. 137.