Fianna Fáil TD for Dublin Mid-West, John Curran has said we must do all it takes over the coming months to reverse the increase trend in road deaths last year, in co-operation with motorists, the public and An Garda Síochána across Dublin Mid-West.
Deputy Curran made the comments after receiving new information from the Minister for Transport in relation to reviewing the Road Safety Strategy 2013-2020 which was set out to over time lead to a reduction in road traffic collisions, fatalities and injuries and contribute to reducing the cost of motor insurance. The Road Safety Authority is expected to publish a report on their midterm review in the coming weeks.
“I must acknowledge the ongoing and important work of local Gardaí in their efforts towards making our roads safe; however, our existing Road Safety Strategy appears to have failed to achieve its core objective in lowering the number killed or injured on our roads,” commented Deputy Curran.
“The evidence is clear and there was a rise of 15% in road deaths in 2016 to 187 persons, up from the figure of 162 road deaths in 2015. In Dublin last year there were 21 people killed on our roads up from 17 the year previous – these are not just damning figures, these are local people from our own families and communities
“The Garda Traffic Corps have taken quite a hit over the past six years – there are 300 fewer now than there were at the end of 2010. To keep our roads safe we need the rules to be enforced and that requires resources to be put in place.
“With that in mind Fianna Fáil secured a commitment to increase Garda numbers by 2,000 by 2021 and insistent on the Traffic Corps – or the Roads Policing Unit as it is to become – benefitting from those additional numbers.
“It is therefore hugely welcome that the Minister has confirmed to me this week that there is a pledged increase of 10% in the traffic corps over the course of the next 12 months. I am hopeful that this will result in more check points and greater enforcement of traffic law.
“Road safety must be a priority in the 2017 to ensure obedience of newly introduced road safety measures including regarding drug driving, mutual recognition of driving disqualifications with the UK and a new optional 20km/hr speed limit in built-up areas.
“There is an onus on the Minister, the RSA and An Garda Siochana to set aside any public squabbles to work in a coordinated and constructive way to continually promote safe road use.
“I will be urging the government to act quickly on this pledged increase in Traffic Corps numbers and which are urgently needed to strengthen the enforcement of road laws and to renew the importance of safe driving.”