In view of the unacceptably high level of road fatalities in Donegal, and in particular on the Inishowen peninsula, the Minister of State, Deputy Gallagher, has held urgent consultations with relevant officials in Donegal to discuss the issue of road safety in the area. A seat belt campaign was recently launched by the Minister of State in Donegal to increase awareness of the importance of seat belt wearing.
The National Safety Council, in consultation with the Department of Transport, the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, and the City and County Managers Association is developing a template for road safety action plans which will be piloted in ten chosen local authority areas. The results of these pilots will inform the development of models which can subsequently be applied in all local authority areas throughout the country. This project includes an examination of the role of local authority road safety officers by the National Safety Council in consultation with relevant Departments and agencies.
Donegal County Council is participating in this pilot project. The National Safety Council has in this context met with the road safety working group in Donegal and the development of a road safety plan for the county is under way. The National Safety Council and the Garda have been active in pursuing road safety education initiatives at a local level in Donegal.
In response to the disturbing number of road fatalities in Buncrana district, a Garda traffic corps unit was established in the district on a pilot basis with effect from 20 October 2005. The unit was in addition to the traffic corps personnel already operating in the Donegal division. Following a review of the unit, a decision has been made to extend the pilot until 15 March 2006 when a further review will be carried out.