Review of Road Safety Authority

The Department of Transport is undertaking a review of the Road Safety Authority (RSA).

Love 30 has made the following points in its submission.

Services Provided by the RSA

Love 30 view: Road Safety promotion and licencing/testing functions such as NCT/CVRT driver-testing and licencing should be separated, if necessary in two separate agencies. Funding for the road safety functions should come directly from Government. There should be no link, actual or apparent, between funding from motorists/motor industry and road safety promotion.

An additional function that could be undertaken is the conduct of speed awareness and other corrective courses. These appear to have been very successful in the UK.

Funding of the RSA

The provision of services such as driver-licensing, NCT, CVRT, could continue to be self-funding but separate Exchequer funding should be provided for the road safety functions.

The Future of the RSA

The road safety promotion functions should be expanded. Ideally, the RSA would have some control over roads policing. The majority of roads policing functions could be provided by the Gárda Síochána on the basis of a service level agreement.

We strongly support the call by Ciarán Cannon, TD, for a Road Safety Commissioner empowered by legislative authority and sufficient resources to consolidate all road safety functions.

Licencing functions could be separated from the road safety functions. The RSA should have a strong operational input into roads policing. Enforcement services could be provided by the Gárda Síochána on the basis of a service level agreement.

Engagement with the RSA

Love 30 Campaign for 30 km/h speed limits has engaged positively with the RSA in seeking a default 30 km/h speed limit in urban areas. The RSA’s current campaign on 30 km/h speed limits is very positive, especially the video “30 Town” which has been played widely on T.V. and radio. The video highlights the liveability benefits of 30 km/h which makes it an attractive prospect in itself, not just for safety reasons.

However, it is disappointing that there appears to have been no enforcement action taken on 30 km/h roads and that the RSA appears not to have pursued this issue with the Gárda

Other Comments

Huge progress has been made in the reduction of road deaths and serious injuries. However, much of this has been achieved because of the increased safety for car drivers and passengers. Death and injuries among pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists have not reduced at the same rate. Drivers must be made to feel responsible for the safety of vulnerable road users. Vehicle design must make it easier for drivers to see pedestrians and cyclists e.g. cyclops mirrors on HGVs. A particular concern is the increase in the numbers of SUVs on our roads, vehicles which generally have poorer sightlines than traditional cars which poses a risk to pedestrians, especially children. In addition, SUVv are much heavier than conventional cars, thus causing more serious injury to other road users in the event of a collision.

Road safety messaging needs to be delivered via all media and in language that everyone accesses and understands, especially young adults and immigrants. Young people do not pay attention to traditional media and many immigrants do not pay much attention to Irish media.

More enforcement is needed, especially to ensure that ALL drivers slow down, and refrain from driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Enforcement needs to be more prevalent. Drivers should expect to be caught and punished if they speed, drive under the influence, or engage in other dangerous behaviours. Widespread enforcement is one way of getting the message through to all drivers, including groups who do not engage with traditional media.

GoSafe has been operating for 15 years, but automated enforcement of other offences (running red lights, bus lane abuse, etc.) hasn't progressed.