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Home > Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 670 - Road Safety Strategy [2297/14].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 670 - Road Safety Strategy [2297/14]. (21 Jan 2014)

URL: http://oireachtasdebates.oireachtas.ie/Debates%20A...


670. Deputy Nicky McFaddenasked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if a renewed focus will be placed by his Department on road safety to reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries in 2014; the measures he will take to address the problem of drug driving; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2297/14] 

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Leo Varadkar): The current Road Safety Strategy 2013-2020, which I launched in March 2013, aims to make Ireland one of the safest countries in terms of road deaths in the EU. The new Strategy sets a specific target for 2020 to reduce the number of road deaths to 124 a year (from 162 in 2012) and serious injuries to 330 per year (from 485 in 2012).  While the Road Safety Authority has overall responsibility for delivery of the Strategy, my Department is fully committed to delivering the specific targets assigned to it.

 

The Road Traffic (No. 2) Bill 2013 which is now in the Seanad, contains a provision to allow for the introduction of roadside impairment testing by An Garda Síochána.  This testing consists of simple, physical, cognitive tests to assist the Gardaí in determining the presence of intoxicants in drivers and whether a driver is capable of having proper control of a vehicle.

 

In addition, my officials are currently drafting legislation to deal specifically with drug driving and the introduction of suitable equipment to detect a range of certain commonly used drugs at road side checkpoints.  This work is being carried out in collaboration with An Garda Síochána, the Department of Justice & Equality, the Medical Bureau of Road Safety (MBRS) and the Road Safety Authority .  I understand that the MBRS intends to issue an invitation to tender shortly for the procurement of the roadside devices and it will then enter a period of testing of the devices. It is my intention to introduce the enabling legislation this year as part of the next Road Traffic Bill.

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