Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Road Safety Measures a Political Whitewash

6 November, 2007

Last week Transport Minister, Noel Dempsey, introduced a number of Road Safety measures with the aim of curbing the amount of Road Traffic Accidents and fatalities resulting from those accidents. The panicked nature of these measures, as well as the fact that many of them are already standing legislation, suggest that these measures are little more than cosmetic.

The lack of a comprehensive Road Safety Strategy thus far in the Government's tenure compound the fact that the Government are not and never have been serious about preventing the incidence of Road Accidents. The Government need to be challenged on the issue of Road Safety and their continuing inadequate response to it.

Speaking in relation to the new measures National Campaigns Officer, Peadar de Bluit, said, "The nucleus of these measures is broadly acceptable, in the context of minimising deaths on Irish roads. However, the initial timescale allowed for the introduction of these new measures, and lack of thought that seems to be behind them, suggest that there are other motives behind their introduction. Ógra certainly welcome any measures that aim to inhibit the incidence of Road Traffic Accidents, but to allow people little more than a bank holiday weekend to find new travel arrangements is laughable."

"What Ógra want to see, and what we have always wanted to see is the introduction of a comprehensive plan to combat the negative, careless culture of driving which exists in Ireland. Intermittent stopgap measures will not solve the problems which exist in our country. We want to see Irish driving culture tackled at its very core. The criminalisation of younger drivers is not the answer to our problems, what we need is a joined-up approach to Road Safety that does not stop at the border. We want to see a change in the Government's approach to road safety, punitive measures will not solve our problem. Drivers need to be encouraged to drive safer through initiatives such as tax and insurance minimisation."

Ógra Shinn Féin are currently running a national Road Safety campaign - Moilligh Síos! The aim of the campaign is to engage with communities, especially younger drivers, with a view to highlighting the dangers of careless road use. Through this campaign Ógra hope to make the roads of the future safer by engaging with the drivers of the future. If you would like to know more about the campaign or would like to get involved contact: [email protected] for any information.

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