68% reduction in fatalities on Irish roads since first Government Road Safety Strategy
The Road Safety Authority (RSA) has revealed that there has been a 68% reduction in fatalities on Irish roads since the introduction of Ireland’s first road safety strategy in 1998. The finding was made today at the RSA Annual International Road Safety Conference which will inform the development of the next Government road safety strategy, which will run from 2021 to 2030.
Since the publication of the first Road Safety Strategy in 1998, there has been a significant reduction in fatalities on Irish roads – 458 deaths occurred on Irish roads in 1998, compared with 146 in 2018, representing a 68% reduction in fatalities.
Minister for Transport Tourism and Sport, Mr. Shane Ross and the RSA announced that the next Government Road Safety Strategy will run from 2021 to 2030 and that the process of developing the new strategy, will involve consultation with key stakeholders and analysis of international experience and best practice. The strategy is expected to address current and new road safety challenges including the impact of new technology, vulnerable road users, serious injuries and killer behaviours.
Speaking at the RSA’s International Conference, Mr. Shane Ross, Minister for Transport Tourism and Sport, said, “The Government’s current Road Safety Strategy 2013 to 2020 identifies a number of critical success factors which remain relevant to this day. One in particular – stakeholder collaboration is key. The development of a new road safety strategy will require considerable engagement with stakeholders at national, regional and local level. The development of the new strategy will also crucially involve analysis of international experience and best practice. That is why I am glad to see this process is well under way with today’s conference and the examination of important insights from leading road safety experts.”
Ms. Liz O’Donnell, Chairperson, RSA said, “The next national road safety strategy will have new elements to take account of a changing society, environment and life styles. Technology will transform our capabilities. The climate change agenda too will influence our endeavours. How citizens want to live their lives too; and a huge interest in healthy cities and public transportation modes must be accommodated. Cycling and walking must ascend the pecking order in terms of priority. ”
Ms. Moyagh Murdock, Chief Executive, RSA said, “It is important that we recognise the efforts of the public, by changing their behaviour many lives have been saved and injuries prevented. The support and work of NGO advocacy groups, who have worked tirelessly to change road safety laws, has also been vital to success.”
Ms. Murdock added that “Reducing fatalities on our roads is not getting any easier. As we take steps to develop the new strategy we need to consider all the factors at play in the coming years such as emerging technologies and new ‘killer behaviours’. Enforcement will continue to be a critical success factor and there is still some way to go to achieving adequate levels of policing of our road safety laws. As part of our efforts to save lives on Irish roads, we need to continue to work together with all stakeholders and use best international practice. That is why this conference, which brings together the leading road safety experts from across the world, is so important.”