Mature Enjoyment of Alcohol in Society

Irish Road Safety Partnerships

Mr. Noel Brett, Chief Executive, Road Safety Authority

The expected outcome of any road safety strategy is the reduction of fatalities and the prevention of serious injuries. Such strategies are based on the concept of partnership between departments, agencies, communities, individuals and the state. Success is dependent on the integration of roles between these partners.

The Road Safety Strategy 2007-2012 is based on a partnership model. The focus continues to be on engineering, education and enforcement with the inclusion of a strong emphasis on evaluation. No agency has total responsibly for any intervention in the strategy. While an individual agency is responsible for achieving the specific actions laid down, they are constantly supported by other partners.

The consumption of alcohol is a major contributory factor in causing deaths and serious injuries on our roads. The Bedford report in 2006 established that approximately 36% of collisions involving a fatality were alcohol related. The main interventions to reduce the consumption of alcohol relate to education and enforcement. The Road Safety Authority, with our partners the Gardaí and the Medical Bureau of Road Safety, with the assistance of the Director of Public Prosecutions, will target those who fail to get the message and are only deterred from such aberrant behaviour by effective enforcement.

Many drivers do not accept the Road Safety Authority message to “never ever drink and drive”. We need to educate these drivers about the risk they are taking with their lives and the lives of other road users. The Road Safety Authority in partnership with many organisations conducts training, publicity, and educative initiatives on the danger of alcohol consumption and driving. We work with the majority of sporting and cultural organisations in the state. We are supported by the motor and the motor insurance industries in our efforts. We rely on the excellent work of our road safety officers, road engineers, teachers, youth/community organisations, Gardaí, politicians, medical professionals, emergency service personnel and many concerned individuals in reinforcing that simple message that could save up to 100 lives a year “Never Ever Drink and Drive”.

 

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