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New road safety strategy launched

Minister of State in the Department of Transport, Hildegarde Naughton TD has launched Ireland’s fifth Road Safety Strategy 2021-2030.

The primary aim of the government’s new road safety strategy is to reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries on Irish roads by 50% over the next 10 years. This means reducing deaths on Ireland’s roads annually from 144 to 72 or lower and reducing serious injuries from 1,259 to 630 or lower by 2030.

The Road Safety Strategy 2021-2030 will be delivered in three phases. Phase 1, which runs from 2021 to 2024, is backed by a projected €3.8bn investment and includes 50 high-impact actions and 136 support actions.

This is the first step in achieving the 2020 Programme for Government commitment of bringing Ireland to ‘Vision Zero’.

Speaking at the launch of the strategy, Minister for State in the Department of Transport, Hildegarde Naughton, T.D., said, “At the heart of this Road Safety Strategy is change. How we use our roads is changing. So how we understand and think about road safety needs to change. We must adjust our attitudes and behaviours to take account of the fact that no one form of transport takes primacy over another. Each and every road user is entitled to use our roads and not have their safety or life put at risk due to others’ dangerous behaviour. This Road Safety Strategy sets out the steps we need to take to reduce deaths and serious injuries by half over the next decade and provides the metrics that will measure our progress. However, the core of the strategy is not about words or numbers on a page, but about saving lives and preventing injuries. It is about people. This strategy is for all those who use our roads, and who have the right to do so safely.”

RSA Chairperson, Liz O’Donnell, said, “Ireland has made significant progress over the lifetime of previous road safety strategies. Since the launch of the first ever Road Safety Strategy in 1998, road deaths have declined by almost 70%. Reducing road deaths and serious injuries by 50% over the next decade is achievable. Vision Zero by 2050 is achievable. We can do it. Given our road safety journey to date, no target is too ambitious for us. Every day, every weekend, every week without a road death or serious injury in your community is Vision Zero in action. The starting point is recognising that road deaths or serious injuries should not be the price to pay for our mobility.”

RSA Chief Executive, Sam Waide, added, “The new government Road Safety Strategy has been developed in line with international best practice, and in collaboration with government departments and agencies, including stakeholders involved in the delivery of road safety actions and those who have an interest in the area. The public have had their say too. We carried out a public consultation process in the development of this strategy and received over 2,000 submissions. We can truly say that the public have shaped how we will be addressing road safety over the next decade. But we will need every road user and delivery partners to play their part in achieving our target of reducing road deaths and serious injuries by 50% by 2030. This Road Safety Strategy commits to reducing road trauma through focused, measurable actions, deeper existing partnerships, new partnerships & collaboration, transformation and stronger governance. We are determined to deliver on these goals.”

The action plan for Phase 1 (2021-2024) and the Straitéis na hÉireann maidir le Sábháilteacht ar Bhóithre 2021–2030 /  Road Safety Strategy 2021-2030 can be found on the Road Safety Authority website.

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