I have no plans for the publication of a document concerned specifically with truck safety. The Programme for Government states that a three year road safety strategy will be developed and will target speeding, drink driving, seatbelt wearing and pedestrian safety in order to reduce deaths and injuries. The strategy will outline a range of issues that it is intended will be pursued over the three year period 2004-06. 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 seatbelt wearing. The strategy will set targeted reductions in the numbers of deaths on the roads and implementation of the measures set out in the strategy will lead to increased safety on the roads for all road users, including truck drivers. I expect the strategy to be published shortly.
I am committed to ensuring that vehicles used on Irish roads conform to high safety standards both in terms of the vehicles themselves and the driving of them. Vehicle safety is being addressed primarily through the implementation of EU measures and the updating of national regulations. Safety standards for new motor vehicles are constantly being improved through the operation of the EU motor vehicle type approval system, which specifies harmonised standards for motor vehicles and motor vehicle components in the EU, and is reflected in the setting of revised standards for new vehicle entry into service. Vehicle testing also makes a valuable contribution to road safety by identifying defective vehicles and by developing an appreciation of the importance of regular service and proper maintenance of vehicles.