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Powers and resources need to be vested in an independent Road Safety Commissioner – Cannon

14th March 2024 - Ciaran Cannon TD

An independent Road Safety Commissioner is required to oversee Ireland’s road safety strategy implementation, as underscored by Liz O’Donnell, Chairperson of the Road Safety Authority today, a Fine Gael TD has said.

Fine Gael Deputy Ciaran Cannon proposed the creation of a Road Safety Commissioner last October, emphasising the necessity for a single individual or office empowered with legislative authority and sufficient resources to consolidate all road safety functions.

Deputy Cannon said: “I was greatly encouraged by the words of the RSA Chairperson today, speaking on Claire Byrne on RTÉ Radio One. She outlined very clearly the variety of stakeholders involved in delivering on our road safety strategy, and how difficult it is to maintain absolute focus and momentum. She went on to say that if the RSA had more power and more funds, it would be possible to really sharpen that focus and demand results from all stakeholders.

“I believe that those powers and resources should be vested in a truly independent Road Safety Commissioner, that’s how seriously we need to be dealing with the tragic loss of life and serious injury on our roads. The Chairperson went on to suggest that Government should consider such a role and I’m now calling on the relevant Ministers to heed this suggestion.”


“We have had a deeply troubling start to 2024 with 42 people dying on our roads. International research is now suggesting that driver distraction is becoming a major factor in road deaths. Many drivers are engaged in multitasking in their cars, using multimedia screens and phones, something we need to focus on and eliminate.


“In the US right now, road safety authorities are attributing one quarter of all road deaths to driver distraction. A Road Safety Commissioner here in Ireland would have the powers and resources to review that research, to see how it applies to Ireland, to gather accurate data on collisions here and act accordingly in addressing this problem. That’s just one example of the potential effectiveness of the office.”


“Every death has a devastating impact on families and communities throughout the country, with every injury having potentially life-changing consequences. We need to acknowledge that our current approach simply isn’t working. I know that the Chairperson of the RSA is very committed to her role and works hard to make our roads safer. If she’s telling us that there are shortcomings in terms of power and resources, then we need to respond.” Deputy Cannon concluded.




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