New strategy aims to reduce road deathsFriday 29 March 2013 09.32
The Government aims to reduce road deaths by almost a quarter and serious injuries by 30% as part of its new road safety strategy, which will run to 2020.
Last year saw the lowest number of road deaths recorded in Ireland, but the rate of fatalities has increased this year.
In 2012, 162 people died on Irish roads. The Government aims to reduce this to 124 a year.
So far this year, 48 people have died, an increase of 15 on the same period last year.
The Road Safety Authority estimates that 485 people were seriously injured in road traffic accidents last year, and the Government aims to reduce this to 330.
The Road Safety Authority chief executive Noel Brett said the current figures are based on garda figures as is the case in other European countries.
He said they will be examining information from hospitals in the future.
The strategy was launched at an EU road safety conference on serious injuries in Dublin today.
The new strategy consists of 144 measures, including proposals for the introduction for alcolocks to be fitted to vehicles.
Alcolocks can be fitted to prevent motorists driving after consuming alcohol.
Other proposals include encouraging employers to consider implementing a policy of fitting devices to cars to prevent employees using a mobile unless their handbrake is activated.
Also being considered is the installation of devices in vehicles to sense tiredness.
Other deterrents include; fixed charge notices, or fines, for cyclists; and extending traffic cameras to include offences other than speeding.
It would also see breakdown kits made compulsory.
Meanwhile, Assistant Garda Commissioner Gerard Phillips said said many people will be travelling this weekend and appealed to drivers to get the basics right - slow down, never drink and drive, always use your seatbelt and never drive while tired.