Dáil Éireann - Volume 512 - 07 December, 1999
Written Answers - Road Safety.
Ms Clune Ms Clune
251. Ms Clune asked the Minister for the Environment and Local Government the progress to date made in implementing the report of  the high level group on road safety; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25837/99]
Mr. Molloy Mr. Molloy
Minister of State at the Department of the Environment and Local Government (Mr. Molloy): The Government Strategy for Road Safety 1998-2002 has set out a range of policies and measures designed to reduce road deaths and serious injuries each by at least 20% by 2002 relative to 1997.
The first progress report of the high level group on road safety was published in July 1999 and details progress with implementing the strategy. Copies of that report have been circulated to all Deputies and are also available in the Oireachtas Library.
The report notes good progress towards the primary strategy target in the first year: 3% less people died on the roads in 1998 than in 1997; 12% less people were seriously injured in 1998 than in 1997: this represents the lowest number of serious injuries for this decade and constitutes significant progress towards the five year target of at least 20% reduction. More recent provisional data from An Garda Síochána indicate that there were 377 road deaths in the first 11 months of 1999 compared with 413 in the same period in 1998.
Progress towards the supporting targets of the strategy has also been made: car and truck speeds were slightly down; there were less fatal accidents in the night-time hours, commonly drink related; engineering measures to reduce accidents were implemented at 93 national road locations in 1998.
The report also describes progress on key strategy actions scheduled for 1998 and 1999: the use of automatic speed detection systems has been extended and preparations were well advanced for the commissioning of fixed speed cameras; evidential breath testing for drink driving, scheduled to commence in October 1999, is now operational in four Garda stations and is being progressively extended nationwide; on-the-spot fines have been extended to non-wearing of seat belts and a range of other road safety related offences; and the scheme of a new Road Traffic Bill is being drafted in my Department to provide for a penalty points system. This will be brought before Government at the earliest possible date with a view to publication of the Bill by mid-2000.
Dáil Éireann 512 Written Answers Road Safety.