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All-Ireland Road Safety approach will save lives - Doherty

14 November, 2007

Speaking during a Seanad debate this afternoon on Road Safety Sinn Féin Senator Pearse Doherty has highlighted the urgent need for All-Ireland cooperation on road safety.


Senator Doherty said:


“I wish to reiterate the call of my Sinn Féin colleague Cathal Boylan MLA who has demanded an all-Ireland conference on Road Safety. 


“This week in the Assembly Sinn Féin submitted a Road Safety Motion that called for an all-Ireland summit to tackle the crisis on our roads, and for the integration of the Road Safety Council and the Road Safety Authority, to deal with issues of road safety on an all-Ireland basis.


“The border, imposed against the will of the majority of people on this island, continues to cost lives and impinge on people’s well being. The very existence of two road safety authorities on this small island does not make sense.


“While hundreds of people are killed annually on our roads, there is a particular concentration of road accidents in the border areas. In fact the death rate from road accidents is one third higher in the border region. Partition is a major impediment to improving Irish road safety because we have two entirely separate systems on the island – different speed limits, different road signs and different standards for drivers.


“It is in the interests of absolutely everyone on this island to work together for an all-Ireland approach to save lives. Indeed transport is defined as a major area of cooperation under the Good Friday Agreement Strand 2 provisions, and this must include road safety.


“Sinn Féin’s All-Ireland Road Safety Policy document outlines very clear proposals including increasing all-Ireland Ministerial and Departmental cooperation in the area of transport including road safety; an all-Ireland Road Safety Strategy to harmonise speed limits (into kmph as required under EU law), road signs and other road safety measures; a single Road Safety Authority for the entire island; an all-Ireland licensing system, including a common driving test and a common penalty points system.


“Although I acknowledge the growing North-South cooperation, we must do more. Lives are at stake and all-Ireland cooperation can improve road safety and reduce fatalities.” CRÍOCH

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