Environment Committee welcomes Road Safety Strategy consultation

Session: 2009/2010

Date: 15 March 2010

Reference: ENV 07/09/10

The Northern Ireland Assembly Committee for the Environment today welcomed the Environment Minister’s Road Safety Strategy consultation and looks forward to playing a full and constructive role in ensuring this strategy delivers significant reductions in fatalities and casualties on our roads.

Recognising the importance of the issue and in response to the increase in the number of road deaths last year, the Committee agreed to gather as much information as it could from a range of stakeholders so that it would be in an informed position to provide constructive feedback during the Consultation period.

It is clear from statistics and from the information provided by stakeholders that one of the key areas of concern is the number and seriousness of roads accidents in our rural areas.

Chairperson of the Committee, Mrs Dolores Kelly MLA, said today: “Many of the most horrific incidents occur on our country roads and the Committee is pleased to note that the Minister has recognised the importance of addressing road safety in rural areas by including a number of measures aimed at improving this situation.

“ Over the last few months the Environment Committee has sought feedback from the PSNI and key rural stakeholders including the Ulster Farmers’ Union and the Rural Community Network on how to improve road safety in rural areas. We have also commissioned research into enforcing speed limits on rural roads throughout Europe; mechanisms for identifying drug driving; the links between age and road deaths; and technologies for preventing the use of mobile phones while driving. The Committee will also be hosting an event on rural road safety in conjunction with PSNI, at Balmoral Show in May.

“We will feed back on our findings to the Minister to maximise the impact and benefit of his strategy in reducing road deaths and casualties on our rural roads.”

Ends

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