Ireland is still the road safety champion of Europe
“The improvements in Irish road safety show that it should be recognised as a road safety champion in the EU,” said Antonio Avenoso, the European Transport safety Council (ETSC) Executive Director at the Road Safety PIN Talk organised in Dublin, in cooperation with the Road Safety Authority, and under the auspices of the Irish Presidency of the EU.
“We are very happy to see that the new Irish Road Safety Strategy is looking to build upon this progress, which ETSC has recognised through the 2010 Road Safety PIN Award,” Mr Avenoso added.
The PIN Talk in Dublin, the 35th in the series started by ETSC in 2006, focused on ways of further improving road safety in Ireland. Mircea Steriu, the Communications Manager at ETSC , presented the latest road safety developments at the European level and underlined the role of constructive competition and exchange of good practices among Member States in improving road safety.
Prof. Richard Allsop, the Chairman of the PIN Programme presented the Irish road safety situation, placing it in the EU context. Ireland ranks 5th in reducing road deaths since 2001 and 15th out of the 27 EU Member States in reducing road deaths among younger road users, aged 15-30. It comes up 17th of the 27 EU Member States in reducing road deaths in urban areas. Jesper Sølund of the Danish Road Safety Council presented the policies which led to Denmark receiving the 2013 PIN Road Safety Award and also outlined ways of moving forward with an ambitious vision for 2020.
Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport told the welcomed the ETSC’s report on road safety in Ireland. “Road safety has been a priority from the start for this Government. This detailed research from the ETSC will help us to make further progress. Ireland is currently in fifth place for road deaths in the EU, but we want to make it the safest country. This ETSC report also coincides with the publication of the Road Traffic Bill 2013, which will bring in new laws like roadside impairment testing for drug driving, and provisions for a new class of ‘Novice’ driving licences.”
Mr. Noel Brett, CEO, Road Safety Authority said, “The Road Safety Authority is delighted that the ETSC has decided to host its Road Safety Performance Index (PIN) Talk in Dublin. The talk marks the end of Ireland’s Presidency of the EU from a road safety perspective and places Ireland’s road safety performance in a European context.
While Ireland has made some great strides in recent years, to lower the number of people dying and being seriously injured on the roads, there is still much work still to be done. 162 road deaths were recorded in 2012 and this is an unacceptably high number. Ireland’s newly launched Road Safety Strategy 2013 to 2020 aims to have 124 or fewer road deaths by 2020 or 25 deaths per million inhabitants.”
“As ETSC we are positively impressed by the energy and enthusiasm Irish stakeholders put into improving road safety here. The very name of your new Strategy: Closing the gap, shows a deep understanding of one of our most important messages to stakeholders: In road safety work there should be no complacency!” said Mr Avenoso in his concluding remarks.