Road Traffic Matters
Oversight of Road Safety
The Minister participates in the work of the Cabinet Sub-Committee on Road Safety, which oversees all aspects of road safety and is chaired by the Minister for Transport.
The Road Safety Authority is the statutory body responsible for improving safety on Ireland’s roads in order to reduce death and injury from road collisions.
Trend in Road Fatalities
The trend in fatal traffic collisions has been favourable for the past five years, decreasing from 365 in 2006, 338 in 2007, 279 in 2008, 239 in 2009 and 212 last year. The figure for 2010 was the lowest in the past 11 years.
An Garda Síochána continue to focus their enforcement activities on the main causes of deaths and serious injury on the roads - drunk driving, speeding and the non-wearing of safety belts. The public will continue to be made aware of roads which have been identified as having a propensity for speed related collisions. One source of such information is the An Garda Síochána website, www.garda.ie.
Considerable resources are now available for traffic policing. The personnel strength of the Traffic Corps up to 28th February, 2011 now stands at 1,023.
Inappropriate speed is the single greatest contributory factor to road deaths and serious injuries. In 2010, there were 381,792 fixed charge notices issued, a decrease of 9% on the previous year. The bulk of those were for speeding, sealbelts and mobile phone usage. In 2010, 157,831 speeding offences were detected, 17,370 seatbelt offences were detected and there were 34,600 detections for driving a vehicle while using a mobile phone. Up to and including 23rd March, 2011 there were 47,254 fixed charge notices issued for speeding, 2,063 fixed charge notices issued for seatbelt offences and 5,409 fixed charge notices issued for using a mobile phone while driving.
In the whole of 2010, there were 12,605 drink driving incidents recorded, a decrease of 14% compared to the year 2009 in which 14,667 incidents were recorded.
During 2010, 562,710 breath tests were carried out under mandatory alcohol testing.