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2010 News

A resource for journalists providing up-to-date press releases, images and contact details for our press room

22 June 2010

Ireland receives EU road safety award 2010

Deaths per million population cut by half in Ireland since 2001.

22 June 2010, Brussels – Ireland and Estonia have been recognised with the “2010 Road Safety PIN Award”(1) at the 4th ETSC(2) Road Safety PIN(3) Conference(4) in Brussels today for their sustained efforts in reducing road deaths. Since 2001 Ireland has seen a rapid improvement in road safety, with deaths down by 41%. Ireland is now 7th out of 27 EU Member States in road deaths per million population.

As revealed today by ETSC’s latest PIN Report(5) Latvia, Spain, Portugal and Estonia achieved the best reductions in road deaths between 2001 and 2009, all above 50%. Ireland achieved a 14% reduction in 2009, totaling a 41% reduction since 2001. Road deaths by million population were cut by half from 107 in 2001 to 54 in 2009(6).

Ireland’s success was built largely on the adoption and effective implementation of the latest Government Road Safety Strategic Plans 1998-2006 and 2007-2012. With 241 people killed in 2009 (411 in 2001) the national target has been achieved ahead of the 2012 deadline.

One of the most important measures was the introduction of Mandatory Alcohol Testing in 2006 and tougher penalties for drink driving offences in 2007. The legislations have also been underlined by hard hitting mass media campaigns to change attitudes and behaviour towards drinking and driving. Minister Dempsey has presented a Bill to lower the legal maximum blood alcohol concentration limit from 0.8g/l to 0.2 for learner, novice and professional drivers and to 0.5 for all other drivers. The Bill has passed the second stage and it is hoped that it will be adopted into law before the summer recess.

The announcements of the new roll out of safety cameras, which will be operational from October 2010, show that the Government is also committed to further reduce speeding. Speeding was directly responsible for 80 deaths on Irish roads last year. It is also a factor in the remaining 160 deaths and 1,000 serious injuries.


Talking at the PIN Conference, Mr. Dempsey, T.D., Minister for Transport, paid tribute to road users in Ireland for the manner in which they have embraced road safety and taken personal responsibility for their own behaviour on the roads. ”It is clear that Government policy and investment have been effective in this area. The work of the RSA and An Garda Siochana has played a major role in making our roads safer and it’s true to say that people would not be alive today, were it not for the measures put in place by the RSA and An Garda Siochana,” added Minister Dempsey.


“Ireland’s authorities and road users have demonstrated their firm commitment to enhancing safety. It is important that they do not feel complacent now,” said ETSC Executive Director Antonio Avenoso. “Ireland will see further road safety improvements if swift progress is made in rolling-out of the safety camera network and the change of the BAC limit. This will allow Ireland to further close the gap with the EU road safety champions.”

You can download ETSC 4th PIN Report and detailed figures for Ireland at . For more information please contact Brian Farrell, Communications manager at RSA, [email protected] , mob. +353 (0)86 388 10 09 or Graziella Jost, PIN Programme Manager at ETSC, [email protected] , mob. +32 (0)4 98 51 65 62.


 (1) On the 22nd June 2010, a joint Road Safety PIN Award 2010 for Outstanding Progress in Road Safety will be given to Mr. Noel DEMPSEY T.D., Minister for Transport, Ireland and Mr. Juhan PARTS, Minister of Economic Affairs and Communications, Estonia.

In 2007, the first PIN Award was given to Cécile Petit, Interministerial Delegate for Road Safety in France. In 2008, the second PIN Award was given to Mário Lino, Minister of Public Works, Transport and Communications of Portugal. In 2009, a joint PIN Award was given to Justo Zambrana Pineda, State Secretary, Ministry of Interior, Spain and Nils Freivalds, State Secretary, Ministry of Transport, Latvia.

(2) The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) is a Brussels-based independent non-profit making organisation dedicated to the reduction of the number and severity of transport crashes in Europe. The ETSC seeks to identify and promote research-based measures with a high safety potential. It brings together 41 national and international organisations concerned with transport safety from across Europe.

 (3) The Road Safety Performance Index (PIN) was launched in June 2006 to compare country road safety performances. It currently includes the 27 countries of the EU, as well as Israel, Norway and Switzerland. The Road Safety Performance Index (PIN) receives financial support from the Swedish Transport Administration, the Norwegian Public Roads Administration and Toyota Motor Europe.

 (4) The PIN Conference Agenda is available at . Minister DEMPSEY and other speakers’ presentations will be available at the same address.

 (5) You can download ETSC 4th PIN Report 2010, Road Safety Targets in Sight: Make up for lost time and detailed figures for each of the 27 EU countries in the Annexes at .

(6) Fig. 1: Road deaths per million population in 2009 (with road deaths per population in 2001 for comparison)



* 2009: Provisional figures or national estimates based on provisional figures as final figures for 2009 were not yet available at the time of going to print. **UK 2009: ETSC estimate based on EC CARE Quick indicator for GB only.



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