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Translation of Road Safety literature a necessary expense – Boylan

5 March, 2008

Sinn Féin Road Safety spokesperson, Cathal Boylan MLA has asked the Environment Minister whether she will consider a programme of assimilation for foreign national car drivers on the rules of the road.

The Newry and South Armagh MLA felt that with the number of new migrant workers coming to our shores and driving on our roads, it would a major benefit to road safety to ensure they are familiar with the differences between driving here and their homelands.

The Minister, Arlene Foster, has responded by saying, 'the preparation of the revised Highway Code for NI is progressing well and she hopes it will be launched by the end of April' .

She has asked her Department to prepare a media plan to ensure all road users are aware of the new version and encouraged to obtain a copy and that the needs of foreign nationals will be taken into account in the preparation of any plan.

When the revised version is published, 'DoE will consider how foreign language versions of the Code might best be made available with regards to costs of translation, necessary funding and other relevant factors, the needs of foreign national road users generally will be considered as part of the development of the new Road Safety Strategy'.

Commenting, the MLA for Newry and South Armagh said,

"While I welcome the Ministers response, I am disappointed she has not gone further to roll out a programme of assimilation. I am also concerned that the translation of the revised edition of the Highway Code will be governed by cost.

"Keeping death and serious injury off our roads should not have a price placed on it. If these translations are necessary then funding must be found by the Minister and her Department to ensure it happens." ENDS

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