Tommy Broughan today, on the day the 31st Dáil has been dissolved, is again calling on candidates in the upcoming General Election to consider road safety for their priorities and manifestos for the next Dáil. Tommy Broughan has been supporting PARC road safety group in calling on strengthening of legislation around road safety, improved implementation of laws and more transparent and accurate reporting of issues pertaining to road safety as well as road traffic collisions (RTCs).

Recently Deputy Broughan asked Parliamentary Questions of Minister for Health, Leo Varadkar, and Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohue, on the numbers of persons who suffered serious injuries as a result of road traffic collisions over the last number of years. Today, Deputy Broughan received a reply from the Road Safety Authority (RSA) stating that in 2010 there were 561 serious injuries as reported by An Garda Síochána data, in 2011 there were 472, in 2012 there were 474, in 2013 there were 508, in 2014 there were 483 provisionally reported, 396 in 2015 and 22 as at the 21st of January 2016 which equates to just over 1 serious injury due to RTC in the first twenty-one days of 2016.

The RSA’s reply also states that “a collision is considered fatal, if there is at least one fatality within 30 days of the date of the collision” and that the figures provided for 2014, 2015 and 2016 are ‘provisional and subject to change.’ The RSA states that the Road Safety Strategy 2013-2020 has set a provisional target to reduce serious injuries by 30% “from 472 (2011) to 330 or fewer by 2020 or 61 per million” of the population.   This reply also states that the RSA is participating in the Europe-wide standard definition “of ‘serious injury’ (MAIS 3+) for use in EU road safety statistics”. This project is at an early stage and is addressing “challenges” around data protection and data matching.

Deputy Broughan says “It is shocking to see that up to the 21st of January 2016 22 people had suffered serious injury through road traffic collisions. I raised this issue as PARC have recently expressed concerns around the under-reporting of serious injuries. I welcome news that the RSA have signed up to an EU-wide, standardised reporting model to gauge where Ireland stands. I have long called for a move towards Sweden’s ‘Vision Zero’ model of Road Safety policy provision and indeed this would involve looking at the whole area of road safety and the impact of road traffic collisions on the lives of those involved. Should I be honoured with re-election to the 32nd Dáil this is certainly an area that I intend to continue to work very strenuously on to ensure that the numbers of those affected reduce drastically.”