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Sinn Féin to meet Gay Byrne over Road Safety

12 October, 2006

Sinn Féin Dublin TD Sean Crowe and West Tyrone MLA Barry McElduff will lead a party delegation to meet with the 26 County Road Safety Authority in Dublin today, Thursday 12th October.

Speaking ahead of the meeting Mr McElduff said:

“Sinn Féin will continue to argue for the development of an all-Ireland response to the tragedy of roads deaths on this island.

“We believe that there practical and realistic solutions to this crisis that must be pursued on an all-Ireland basis. Both government already recognise the value of this approach but we need to go much further.

“Sinn Féin’s All Ireland analysis holds a logic and dynamic which cannot be ignored. Within the North responsibility for addressing road safety is apportioned across many departments and agencies. We believe this weakens a unified co-ordinated and comprehensive response.

“Sinn Féin have publicly called for an immediate summit involving all the major stakeholders North and South, with a view to the establishment of a single island wide organisation, fully resourced and financed to solve ever increasing toll of death and accidents on our roads.

“ I believe that we are pushing at an open door, so to speak. The issue of roads safety has been with us for many many years, whilst car technology is making advances in manufacturing safety, road user behaviour has sadly not made the same advances.

“There are a many of issues to be addressed; the first is that the change of attitude to driving in Ireland is key. We need a targeted approach through education. Speeding amongst all drivers, not just young drivers remains a constant feature of all accidents on our roads. The state of our roads network, maintenance and road marking coupled with signage must also be considered. Harmonisation of punitive measures is also a step in the right direction

“If people can stop smoking in pubs and public places and adjust then the same must apply to driving. Gay Byrne the appointed Chair of the Road Safety Authority has urged all road users to recognise that like the lotto ‘it could be you’.” ENDS

Note to Editors

536 died on Irish roads in 2004 / 05, and almost 400 people have died on our roads so far this year.

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