Wednesday, 20 January 2021

Questions (77)

Patricia Ryan


77. Deputy Patricia Ryan asked the Minister for Transport his plans to address the increase in road deaths in 2020; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2345/21]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

Based on provisional figures, road deaths were regrettably 6% higher than in 2020, despite a large decrease in the volume of traffic on our roads.

However, it should also be noted that the number of our fatalities on our roads dropped by 30% since 2010, and Ireland is currently the second safest country in the EU in terms of road deaths.

Despite the difficulties of the Covid-19 restrictions which have been in place since March 2020, my Department will not relax its efforts to keep our roads as safe as possible for all road users, including pedestrians, cyclists, the elderly and children.

The four main causes of fatalities on Irish roads remain speeding, intoxicated driving, the use of mobile phones and the non-wearing of seatbelts, and these are all areas where drivers must take personal responsibility for their actions, and realise the consequences of these killer behaviours.

The Road Safety Authority is the body tasked by the Government to develop and implement information and education campaigns to increase awareness of road safety and promote safer driving, to improve vehicle standards, to provide and monitor a standard for driver instruction, to oversee the driver licensing system, to carry out collision and road safety research in order to make recommendations to improve road safety, to work with all major stakeholders to promote road safety and to implement measures to make our roads safer, and to produce road safety strategy documents and monitor their implementation.

Officials in my Department, together with the Road Safety Authority, an Garda Síochána, and other stakeholders, are currently developing the Road Safety Strategy 2020-2030, and I expect this to be finalised within the next few months.