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Home > Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 517 - road safety [29943/17].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 517 - road safety [29943/17]. (04 Jul 2017)

517. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if a review of the effectiveness of road safety interventions and policy in regard to drink driving has been ordered or will be ordered following the revelation that enforcement metrics in this area, such as the numbers of drivers being breath-tested over several years, are not reliable or credible. [29943/17]


Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Shane Ross): ​Intoxicated driving is widely acknowledged as one of the major causes of road traffic collisions. There is plenty of evidence available for the scale of drink driving, quite independently of the figures for preliminary breath tests, to which the Deputy refers. RSA research, published in 2016, indicates that alcohol was a contributory factor in 38% of fatal collisions in the period 2008 to 2012. An Garda Síochána's six-week campaign during the last Christmas period resulted in 961 arrests for drink-driving, representing a 35% increase in arrests over the same period in 2015. This clearly illustrates that drink driving remains a significant road safety issue in Ireland that needs to be addressed urgently.


For these reasons I am bringing forward a Bill to Cabinet for approval next week, which will ensure that all those detected drink driving receive an automatic disqualification from driving. This means removing the privilege currently afforded to certain drivers of receiving penalty points as an alternative to disqualification under section 29 of the Road Traffic Act 2010.


Last November I began a mid-term review of the Road Safety Strategy 2013-2020 to examine the Strategy to ensure its effectiveness is maximised in combatting the causes of road fatalities and serious injuries. I expect to receive a draft of the review from the Road Safety Authority for my consideration shortly. I have increased the frequency of meetings of the Ministerial Committee on Road Safety, from twice yearly to every couple of months, with the next meeting later this month when I will again review our road safety interventions including regarding drink driving to ensure everything possible is done to reduce the incidences of deaths and serious injuries on our roads.

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