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Tuesday, 2nd April 2024

Road safety campaigners say RSA no longer fit for purpose

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The Drogheda Cycling Group brought their campaign to the St. Patrick's Day parade in Drogheda (from left): Noel Mohan, Noel Hogan and Daniel Danko.

As the number of deaths caused by road traffic accidents continues to rise, the Drogheda Cycling Campaign group has joined 26 other road safety campaign groups nationwide in saying they have lost confidence in the Road Safety Authority.

 “We believe that appealing to dangerous drivers not to break the law of the land must end and be replaced by the “Three Cs” - concrete, cameras and cops” said a Drogheda Cycling Campaign group spokesperson.

A statement issued on behalf of all 27 organisations says “The Road Safety Authority is the lead agency for road safety in Ireland and we have lost confidence in it. We believe it is no longer fit for purpose.

“There are few communities in Ireland who have not experienced the devastation caused by road traffic collisions. 58 people have been killed on our roads so far this year, with many more having survived collisions only to be left with serious physical and mental injury.

“We campaign for improved road safety measures in our rural and urban communities, in our villages, towns and cities. We want safe roads and streets where everyone can walk, cycle and drive safely.

“The mission of the RSA is to save lives and prevent injuries by reducing the number and severity of collisions on the road. It is responsible for the implementation of our national Road Safety Strategy 2021-2030, the primary aim of which is to reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries on Irish roads by 50% by 2030.

“The number of deaths on our roads is not reducing. It is worsening. 16 more people have been killed this year than during the same period last year. The RSA is failing in its core mission.

"A core function of the RSA is to promote, educate and increase awareness of road safety. On Child Safety Day, the Road Safety Authority distributed over 40,000 high visibility vests to pre-schools in the country, focusing on the potential victims of road violence, those with the least responsibility and the least capacity to make any difference to road safety.

“Redesigning our roads with good walking and cycling infrastructure improves road safety for everyone, including drivers. Proposed road safety interventions are often met with significant local opposition - yet the Road Safety Authority has remained silent in these debates.

“Lenient sentencing and unsound court arguments have undermined the deterrence of proper enforcement, yet the Road Safety Authority has remained silent on this too.

“The RSA’s remit includes road safety and collision research. Data available to road safety researchers is insufficient or outdated. Historic road collision data is not being made available to road safety auditors. Public reports are framed around the victim of road collisions and their mode of transport rather than the cause. The RSA is not providing up-to-date and comprehensive data which can be used to make our roads safer.

“At the time of writing, 58 people have been killed on our roads in 2024. By the time you have read this, the number will likely have increased. This number is not just a statistic. Every single person killed on our roads leaves behind family, friends and a community, whose lives are changed forever.”

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