2018 News

17 July 2018

Statement from Liz O’Donnell, Chairperson, Road Safety Authority (RSA) on passing of the Road Traffic (Amendment ) Bill 2017

As Chair of the RSA, I welcome the passing of the Road Traffic (Amendment ) Bill 2017 by both  Houses of the Oireachtas. The extent of cross party support for the Bill reflects a  long standing commitment by the vast majority of public representatives to support laws that improve road safety.

Tough laws to police and deter killer behaviours like drink driving  require societal consensus and acceptance to make a difference. I commend Gillian Treacy , Noel Clancy and the Road Victims Groups who are tireless advocates for safer roads. They know the terrible grief of losing a loved one in road crashes and devote enormous effort to ensure others do not experience the same loss.

I particularly want to acknowledge the generosity of the Treacy family who lost their beautiful child Ciaran in a drink driving crash. By sharing their compelling testimony in the RSA Crashed Lives TV campaign which is currently running they  have made a major contribution and I believe have changed hearts and minds about  driving an alcohol.

For this law to be effective and save lives, it must be accompanied by strong visible and widespread enforcement by an Garda Síochána.

Enforcement statistics for the first six months of 2018 showed in excess of 4000 motorists arrested for driving under the influence. These numbers show that despite some improvement in driver behaviour over the years, there remains a stubborn cohort of people to continue with high risk behaviour, endangering themselves and other road users.

I would appeal to road users to be especially careful on the roads over these summer months and help us reduce road traffic fatalities and serious injuries.


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