Action must follow ambition to protect vulnerable road users - Darren O’Rourke TD
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Transport, Darren O’Rourke TD, today welcomed the publication of the RSA’s new 2021-2030 Road Safety Strategy, and said government action must follow the stated ambition to protect vulnerable road users.
The Meath East TD said:
“I welcome the publication of the RSA’s Road Safety Strategy for the next 10 years.
“This strategy covers a period of time that will see a major change in how our roads are used.
“While we recognise that cars will remain an essential for many people, the transition to more sustainable modes of transport will be a necessary feature of our move to carbon neutrality. Covid has seen an increase in those walking and cycling. That trend must intensify.
“Between 2013 and 2020, 348 pedestrians and cyclists were killed on our roads, highlighting the critical need to protect vulnerable road users.
“Encouraging more people to travel by foot, bike or scooter over the next decade must be met with additional resources to ensure these people can travel safely.
“The government can and needs to do better in this area.
“Improved driver training and awareness campaigns are needed to promote the safe sharing of road space for all road users.
“We are still awaiting legislation to regulate e-scooters and e-bikes.
“An underspend of €25 million on cycling and walking infrastructure will be recorded this year, despite the massive demand for segregated cycle lanes right across the state.
“The Safe Routes to School programme is hugely oversubscribed, with 931 schools applying for funding this year, but only 170 schools receiving funding.
“Communities right across Ireland are looking for support to improve the safety of cyclists and pedestrians, but the responsible authorities are failing to meet this demand.
“Earlier this year, I asked the Minister for Transport if he would legislate for the use of helmet camera footage in the implementation and enforcement of the rules of the road as it relates to the safety of cyclists, so I welcome the commitment to explore the use of an online portal for road users to upload footage of road traffic offences which could assist in prosecution.
“The ambition to reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries on Irish roads by 50% over the next 10 years is admirable, but funding and resources must be provided by the government if we are to achieve this.”