Tuesday, 2 March 2004

Questions (269, 270, 271)

Pat Breen

Question:

350 Mr. P. Breen asked the Minister for Transport if, in view of the fact that there were a total of 466 pedestrian fatalities on roads during the years 1998 to 2002, he has plans to appoint consultants to assess third party risk on such roads in like manner to the recent study undertaken at State airports by ERM; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6577/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Transport)

The purpose of the engagement of ERM was to advise on any restrictions that should be imposed on planning and development in and around airports against the background of possible airline crashes. That type of study would not be relevant to situations in which pedestrian casualties result from traffic accidents.

Third party insurance cover against civil liability arising from the negligent use of a motor vehicle on a public road is compulsory under the Road Traffic Act 1961, including such civil liability to pedestrians, cyclists and other vulnerable road users. Under the 1988 agreement between the then Minister for the Environment and the Motor Insurers' Bureau of Ireland, compensation is payable by the bureau to innocent victims of road accidents involving uninsured drivers and untraced vehicles, in accordance with the terms of the agreement. Such compensation covers personal injuries and injury to property in the case of accidents caused by uninsured drivers and personal injury in the case of accidents alleged to have been caused by uninsured drivers.

In this country the primary immediate investigative role in road accidents is vested in the Garda Síochána. Priority in such an investigation must be given to the determination of the causes of road accidents and in particular to the determination of whether a breach of the road traffic laws contributed to an occurrence. Garda reports on road traffic accidents are forwarded to the National Roads Authority and subsequently to each local authority for the purpose of establishing accident trends and causes generally and to facilitate the carrying out of remedial works relating to road infrastructure where such action is deemed to be necessary.

Michael Ring

Question:

351 Mr. Ring asked the Minister for Transport the number of fatalities on the roads in 2003; the number caused by car accidents; and the number caused by heavy goods vehicles. [6648/04]

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Michael Ring

Question:

353 Mr. Ring asked the Minister for Transport the number of fatalities on the roads in 2003; the number that were caused by car accidents; and the number that were caused by heavy goods vehicles. [6668/04]

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I propose to take Questions Nos. 351 and 353 together.

Statistics on road accidents, based on information provided by the Garda Síochána, are published by the National Roads Authority in its annual road accident facts reports. The most recent report is in respect of 2002 and this, along with reports relating to previous years, is available in the Oireachtas Library.

Provisional figures for 2003 indicate that 341 road deaths occurred during that year. A breakdown of the number of traffic accident fatalities in 2003 caused by cars and heavy goods vehicles is not yet fully analysed and authenticated. This will be set out in Road Accident Facts 2003, which will be published by the National Roads Authority later this year.