As of 1 April 2014, the total number of fatalities on our roads in 2014 is 43. That is a decrease of 5 on the same period last year. From 415 deaths on our roads in 2001, we have seen a dramatic reduction to 190 deaths in 2013. However I am concerned that in the year 2013 there was an increase in road deaths from 2012.
I meet regularly with all of the bodies and agencies that have responsibility for road safety, including the Gardaí and the Road Safety Authority (RSA) to ensure that all necessary measures are identified and taken to improve safety on our roads.
I launched the Road Safety Strategy 2013 to 2020 last year. This contains 144 Actions to be implemented by the various agencies involved in order to build on the previous Strategies with the objective of improving safety, sustainably on our roads and making Ireland among the safest countries for road safety.
Aside from the Strategy, the Road Traffic Act 2014, was signed into law by the President on 25th February. This legislation introduces measures which will further contribute to road safety in the years to come. The Act provides for further Graduated Driver Licensing measures, adjustments to the penalty points system, increasing demerits for the most dangerous offences such as speeding and operating a mobile phone while driving and new measures to combat intoxicated driving.
My officials are also in the early stages of drafting the Road Traffic Bill 2014 which will contain further measures to improve safety on our roads.
The Road Safety Authority (RSA) is funded through a combination of Exchequer and non-Exchequer funding. The RSA Exchequer allocation for 2014 is €3.37 million, which represents 5% of its projected income for the year. The remaining 95% is provided from revenues from the services provided by the Authority such as driver testing and National Car Testing. I am satisfied that the RSA receives all of the necessary resources and assistance it requires from my Department in carrying out its functions. In addition, I am satisfied with the operation of the Road Safety Authority and I am confident that its new CEO will continue to build on the excellent work done by the Authority since its establishment in 2006.