I am aware that the National Roads Authority has highlighted the significant safety dividend expected to be gained from the upgrade of the national roads network as provided for in the National Development Plan 2000-2006. In particular, the upgrading of key inter-urban routes to motorway-high quality dual carriageway standard will remove the risk of head-on collisions and conflicts associated with junctions and right-turning manoeuvres. The NRA has estimated that the better safety record of these types of roads will result in a saving of over 50 lives annually once the routes have been completed. To maximise the increased safety benefit, road safety audits are carried out on all new schemes on national roads. Work on improving the safety of the existing national road network is carried out through accident black-spot remedial schemes, traffic calming, road safety research, and the provision of safety barriers in central reservations.