€3m for safety and driver education schemes to tackle ‘unacceptable’ rise in deaths on Irish roads

€3m for safety and driver education schemes to tackle ‘unacceptable’ rise in deaths on Irish roads

THE Taoiseach has agreed €3m will be spent on road safety initiatives and driver education schemes across Ireland.

Simon Harris has met with Road Safety Authority (RSA) CEO Sam Waide and Chairperson Liz O’Donnell to discuss what action can be taken in response to the rising level of deaths on the nation’s roads.

Some 58 people have been killed on Ireland’s roads so far in 2024 - which is 16 more lives that have been lost in collisions this year than at the same point last year.

During their meeting it was agreed that RSA is to spend an additional €3m from its reserves across 2024 in funding for road safety campaigns and education initiatives, which will begin this month.

They also agreed to “progress the delivery of 12 new camera enforcement sites in the coming months - three of which are average speed cameras”, and to “work to resolve technical and legal issues so enforcement cameras can identify mobile phone use and seatbelt wearing as offences”.

The RSA will also “continue to progress the review of the driving test curriculum which has not been undertaken in over 30 years”, they confirmed.

Speaking after their meeting, the Taosieach said: “After nearly two decades of positive progress, we have seen recently a sudden, and worrying, increase in road deaths.

“The rise in the number of deaths on our roads is unacceptable, and a renewed focus is needed on road safety and driver behaviour.”

He added: “I met with the RSA to hear what more they can do to urgently address this issue.

“We agreed on a number of immediate measures including further awareness campaigns, increasing public awareness of enforcement plans by An Garda Síochána, steps to resolve the suspension of data sharing between the RSA and Local Authorities, and investment to deliver safety improvements on roads.

“I will shortly chair a meeting of the Government’s Ministerial Road Safety Committee to ensure early progress on these and other responses to the recent increase in road deaths and identify any further measures that can be taken to most effectively save lives.”