Ireland launches new ten-year road safety strategy

  • December 23, 2021

The Irish government has launched a new road safety strategy in line with the EU targets to reduce deaths and injuries by 50% over the next ten years.

The 2021-2030 government Road Safety Strategy will feature three phases.

The Phase 1 Action Plan (2021-2024) which has been published alongside the ten-year strategy document, contains 50 “high-impact” actions including:

  • Establish a working group to examine and review the framework for the setting of speed limits. As part of this review there will be a specific consideration of the introduction of a 30km/h default speed limit in urban areas.
  • Expand speed management measures on National, Regional and Local roads using Periodic Speed Limits at schools, Vehicle Activated Signs and Average Speed Cameras in collaboration with police at appropriate high-risk locations.
  • Review the operation of the mobile safety camera system to maximise its effectiveness in detecting road traffic offences
  • Explore the potential of an online portal for road users to upload footage of road traffic offences which could assist in prosecution.
  • Review the penalties for serious road traffic offences including the following: impaired driving, speeding, mobile phone use, non-wearing of seat belts, carrying unrestrained children in a vehicle.
  • Legislate for increased sanctions for polydrug and drug and alcohol use while driving.
  • Over the period 2021 to 2025, 1,000km of segregated walking and cycling facilities will be constructed or under construction on the national, local, and regional road network, to provide safe cycling and walking arrangements for users of all ages.
  • Develop and implement a safety rating indicator for national road infrastructure, which will help target investment on sections of national roads with the highest risk of fatal or serious injury.
  • Conduct a review of road traffic policy and legislation to prioritise the safety of walking and cycling.

To monitor performance during the first phase of the strategy a number of interim targets have been set to support the overall objective of reducing road deaths and serious injuries by 50% by 2030. By 2024, Ireland aims to reduce deaths on Ireland’s roads by 15% from 144 to 122 or lower.  By 2024, the aim is to reduce serious injuries on Ireland’s roads by 10% from 1,259 to 1,133 or lower.

Antonio Avenoso, ETSC’s Executive Director, commented:

“There is a lot to like in the new Irish road safety strategy.  It’s built on the Safe System approach, there are long-term and short-term targets, and we can already see a very sensible list of clear, measurable actions.  We were also delighted to see concrete plans for separated cycling infrastructure and a clear focus on vulnerable road users in general.”