Ireland has made huge progress in road safety in the last decade and has one of the best road safety records in the EU. Countless lives have been saved through improved legislation, widespread changes in driver behaviour, better engineering and enhanced enforcement.
The establishment of the Road Safety Authority, the introduction of the fixed charge and penalty points system, random breath-testing for alcohol and lower permissible limits, the enactment of targeted legislation, the establishment of a dedicated Garda Traffic Corps and the introduction of safety cameras are but some of the measures and initiatives introduced in this country in recent years that have contributed to the reduction in fatalities and have led to positive changes in driver behaviour. From 415 deaths on our roads in 2001, we have seen a dramatic reduction to 190 deaths in 2013.
However, we must continue to implement measures and take further initiatives that will lead to even safer roads. In March 2013, I launched the Road Safety Strategy that lists 144 Actions to be implemented by various State agencies in order to make Irish roads the safest in Europe. I will continue to ensure that these actions are implemented.