MINISTER PRESENTS FIRST NEW DRIVING LICENCES

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Leo Varadkar today presented two new drivers with the new credit-card sized driving licences which launched this week.

Aoife Murphy from Blarney, Co. Cork and Daniela Reicke from Cork City were among the first drivers in the country to receive the new licence, having recently passed their driving test.

Almost 6,000 new plastic card licences have issued to drivers this week following the changeover from paper licences to plastic card licences on 19th January. The introduction of the plastic card licence is one aspect of an EU Directive to upgrade and standardise all licences across the EU; previously, as many as 100 different types of licence were in operation throughout the EU.

Minister Varadkar said the new licence is more secure and more convenient, and also meets Ireland’s obligations under the EU Directive

“The new driving licence is an important part of this Government’s ongoing commitment to road safety. It will help to eliminate licence fraud, ensure that motorists are properly trained and licensed, and keep unlicensed drivers off our roads. It’s more modern and more convenient. It’s also recognised throughout the EU, so Irish road users will enjoy the benefits and protections which drivers already have in other EU countries.”

“The RSA and the Motor Tax Offices have done sterling work in making the new application process as easy as possible for motorists. I want to thank the RSA for their hard work, and for meeting the EU deadline on schedule, without requiring additional Exchequer funding.”

Mr Noel Brett, Chief Executive, Road Safety Authority said:

“Since the new licence card was introduced, we have received some really positive feedback from people who have been among the first to receive one. Among the benefits they see in the new licence is that it’s more durable, modern and easier to carry around, as well as being recognised throughout the EU. The new licence is a big step forward in the modernisation of the driver licensing service, bringing us into line with our EU counterparts. Because it cannot be easily replicated, it will also act as a key road safety tool to keep those who are illegally driving a vehicle off our roads, and protect other road-users from any risks posed by unlicensed drivers and licence tourism.”

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the staff of the Motor Taxation Offices for their efforts to ensure the seamless transition from paper based licences to plastic card licences and in particular, for helping us to meet the deadline set by the EU for the introduction of the licence,” said Mr Brett.

From September, licences will be delivered by the RSA under the banner of the National Driver Licence Service (NDLS) at centres around the country.  This new network will ensure that the proposed locations will provide service to 98% of the population within a 50km radius. It will match, if not exceed, the reach currently achieved by the Motor Taxation Office network.

The new licence is available to those who have passed their driving test and are applying for their first driving licence; are applying for a learner permit; are renewing their learner permit or driving licence or are exchanging a foreign driving licence for an Irish driving licence. As all paper licences are valid for a maximum of 10 years, they will be replaced on a phased basis as they expire.

In addition to the introduction of the new licence, the Road Safety Authority will now be responsible for the delivery of the driver licensing system in Ireland. Members of the public will continue to go to Motor Tax Offices when applying for their licence until September 2013. The only change at the moment is that the licence will now be posted out to the applicant after the application has been processed, because the new plastic card licence is now produced in a specialist facility.

The new network of offices will provide a greater level of customer service than at present. For example it will be open Monday through Saturday and have longer opening hours to facilitate customers who may not be able to apply for their licence during normal working hours. The locations of the offices are currently being finalised and will be announced though a public information campaign in due course.

The fee for a ten year licence is €55, a three-year licence will cost €35 and a one-year licence will be €25. The cost of a learner permit is €35. Changes to existing licences and permits, for example, if you wish to add a ‘New Category’, will cost €35. Licences for the over 70s will remain free of charge. Under the terms of the EU 3rd Directive, a three-year licence will only be available on medical grounds or where a person is 67 years or older. These new fees were introduced on 1st January and represent the first driving licence fee increase since 1989.

In addition to the introduction of the new plastic credit card sized driving licence there are also some other changes to some licence category rules that come into effect as part of the new EU Licensing Directive.  The most significant of is that licences for trucks and buses will now last for five years instead of the current ten years. There are also changes to motorcycle licensing categories.

For details on the new licence, and to download an application form or for more information the changes to some driver licensing rules, visitwww.ndls.ie

Road Safety Strategy Target Achieved Three Years Ahead of Schedule

Road Users Thanked As Road Safety Strategy Target Achieved Three Years Ahead of Schedule

2012 Drop in deaths lowest on record

Provisional road casualty figures for 2012 published today, Tuesday 1st January 2013 show that a total of 161people tragically lost their lives on Irish roads in 2012. This is 25 fewer fatalities compared to 186 deaths last year and 51 fewer deaths compared to 2010 when 212 people lost their lives on the roads.

Road deaths have now fallen every year since 2006. Furthermore it is also the fifth year in a row that a new record low for fatalities in this country has been achieved.

The third Road Safety Strategy 2007 to 2012, which will be replaced in early 2013 with a new eight year strategy, set a target of reducing road deaths to no more than 252 deaths per annum by the end of 2012. Not only was this target achieved ahead of schedule in 2009, it was significantly surpassed. Since the beginning of 2007 there has been a 56% decrease in road deaths. While the total number of serious injuries sustained in crashes in 2012 is not yet available, there has been a 51% reduction in these injuries up to the end of 2011.

Minister for Transport Tourism & Sport Leo Varadkar, said, “For the seventh year in a row the number of people killed on the roads has dropped. In 2012 the loss of life was the lowest ever recorded. The ongoing effort to reduce the tragedy of road deaths is working. Further key road safety measures will be implemented this year, and the new Road Safety strategy will be published. But this change really comes down to the efforts of every single road user. We can never forget those who lost their lives on the roads in 2012, but next year we can take it a step further. I urge everyone to change one thing about their behaviour on the roads next year. It will make a difference.”

Commenting on the release of the provisional figures Mr. Gay Byrne, Chairman, Road Safety Authority said “At the end of 2006 the year before the third Road Safety Strategy was launched, we were losing a life on the road every single day. Six years later and this has dropped to three lives lost every week. So as a result of your actions, the road using public, you are preventing four deaths every week now compared to 2006. While one death is one too many, this is an extraordinary achievement and something of which you should all be very proud. The challenge now is to build on this success. We have three more lives a week to save.”

“We know we can do better because countries like Sweden, the UK and the Netherlands have done it. The task begins with the development and publication of the new Road Safety Strategy, which will cover the period 2013 to 2020. Key elements of this new strategy will focus on serious injury reduction, tackling repeat road traffic offenders and developing more forgiving roads. While government agencies will work tirelessly to implement this new strategy, ultimately if we want safer roads only you can get us there.”

RSA Chief Executive, Mr. Noel Brett, paid tribute to the work of the Gardai and Emergency Services, “It is important, as we come to the end of another year, that we acknowledge and thank those on the front line in road safety. The Gardai, Ambulance and Paramedic crews, Fire Brigade personnel, Nurses, Doctors and Carers who are responsible for ensuring we stay safe on the roads and for caring for those who have been affected by road trauma”.

“2013 will be another challenging year, but one which the Board and staff of the RSA are looking forward to as it will see the launch of a new Road Safety Strategy, the introduction of a new plastic card driving licence, the transformation of the Commercial Vehicle Roadworthiness Testing system, and Ireland’s presidency of the European Union, which will include the hosting of a major EU conference on road safety in March 2013.”

Commissioner of An Garda Síochána Mr Martin Callinan  said today: “We wish to thank all road users who have made a conscious and positive change to both their attitudes and behaviour on our roads. This change has resulted in another record low in terms of road safety in Ireland. This is evident in particular in our drink driving arrests which are down for the fifth year in a row, whilst there have been more Garda Mandatory Alcohol Checkpoints in 2012, compared to 2011. In 2007 the rate of detection was approximately 1 in 25, now it’s approximately 1 in 50. This clearly shows increased compliance by responsible members of the public.”

Commissioner Callinan continued: “Although we have saved 25 lives compared to 2011, we can all do more to reduce fatalities and serious injuries for 2013 and beyond. In 2012 we identified Sunday as being the most dangerous day of the week on our roads, and in particular between 4pm and 6pm. To some Sunday is a day of leisure but this fact serves as a reminder to all that collisions can happen to anyone at any time. We all must remember that complacency can cost lives.”

An Garda Síochána’s Strategy Statement 2013-2015 will continue to incorporate road safety as one of it’s key objectives to ensure safety for all on our roads.

Road deaths dropped by approximately 13% in 2012 compared to 2011. A provisional breakdown of the casualty figures shows;

Table 1 Road Deaths by Road User Category 2012 Compared to 2011

 

Road User

No. Fatalities 2012

%

No. Fatalities 2011

%

% change2012 over 2011

Pedestrian

28

17%

47

25%

-40%

Driver

78

48%

79

42%

-1%

Passenger

27

17%

33

18%

-18%

Motorcyclist

19

12%

18

10%

6%

Cyclist

8

5%

9

5%

-11%

Other

1

1%

Total

161

100%

186

100%

-13%

Some of the key provisional statistics for 2012 include;

§ 30% of road deaths were under 25 years of age.

§ 41% of road deaths occurred on Saturday and Sunday.

§ The hours between 4pm and 6pm were the most dangerous, with 31 deaths (19%)

§ The average monthly fatality rate in 2012 was 13 compared to 16 in 2011 and 18 in 2010.

§ The safest month of the year was November when 8 deaths occurred.

§ 108 or 67% of those killed on the roads were male.

 

Table 1. Road Deaths by Road users type, 2006-2012

 

Road user

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

Pedestrians

73

81

49

40

44

47

28

Pedal Cyclists

9

15

13

7

5

9

8

Motor Cyclists

29

33

29

25

17

18

19

Car Users

226

171

160

146

130

95

95

PSV Users

3

1

0

1

1

0

1

Goods Vehicle

18

32

20

17

10

17

9

Other or Unknown

7

5

8

2

5

0

1

TOTAL

365

338

279

238

212

186

161

 

 

Figures in red correspond to the period covering the third Government Road Strategy 2007 to 2012.The figures in black  (2006) represent the base year against which third road safety strategy performance is measured.

 

*(All drivers & Passengers)

 

 

Table 2. Road Deaths in Ireland 1959 to 2012

 

Year

No. Road Deaths

1959

306

1960

302

1961

332

1962

339

1963

335

1964

341

1965

356

1966

382

1967

416

1968

447

1969

462

1970

540

1971

576

1972

640

1973

592

1974

594

1975

586

1976

525

1977

583

1978

628

1979

614

1980

564

1981

572

1982

533

1983

535

1984

465

1985

410

1986

387

1987

462

1988

463

1989

460

1990

478

1991

445

1992

415

1993

431

1994

404

1995

437

1996

453

1997

472

1998

458

1999

413

2000

415

2001

411

2002

376

2003

335

2004

374

2005

396

2006

365

2007

338

2008

279

2009

238

2010

212

2011

186

2012

161

Total

23,239

 

 

 

World Remembrance Day for Road Traffic Victims

 

REMEMBERING THE VICTIMS OF ROAD COLLISIONS

– 23,227 people killed on Irish roads since 1959 –

The Road Safety Authority (RSA), Local Authorities, members of An Garda Síochána and the Emergency Services are calling on people to remember the victims of road collisions on ‘World Remembrance Day for Road Traffic Victims’ on Sunday 18 November. This comes as figures reveal that 23,227 people have died on Irish roads to date (13 November 2012) since records began in 1959.

So far this year, 149 families, friends and communities have been left devastated by the loss of a loved one.

A number of commemoration services, masses and events will take place throughout the country this weekend to remember those who have died or been seriously injured on our roads and the families and friends who are left grieving for their loss. A full list of the events taking place to mark ‘World Remembrance Day’ is available onwww.rsa.ie

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Mr Leo Varadkar TD said, “Since 1959, 23,227 people have been killed on our roads, more than the population of the town of Athlone. And for every life lost on our roads, hundreds more are devastated by the loss. ’World Remembrance Day’ gives us all an opportunity to remember the victims of road crashes, the families grieving for their loss and the communities shattered by these tragedies. It also allows us to reflect on our own behaviour on the roads and ask ourselves how we can contribute to making the roads a safer place for everyone.”

Mr Gay Byrne, Chairman, Road Safety Authority said, “’World Remembrance Day’ is a time for everybody to come together and remember those who have died on our roads, as well as the families, friends and communities who continue to live with their grief and loss. It’s also a time to remember those in the emergency services who have to deal with the consequences and the aftermath of collisions. We also acknowledge those who have been seriously injured on our roads and those who continue to support and care for them every day. On ‘World Remembrance Day’, I ask that we all take a moment to think about our behaviour on our roads and how we can make the roads a safer place for us all.”

Assistant Commissioner Gerard Phillips, An Garda Síochána said,  “An Garda Síochána is committed to working with all road safety stakeholders to keep our roads free from death and serious injury but we need the support of each and every person who uses the roads. ‘World Remembrance Day’ reminds us how quickly and easily tragedy can happen on our roads and I would encourage people to use the day as an opportunity to look at our own actions on the roads and the role we play in keeping them free from tragedy.”

The following activities will mark ‘World Remembrance Day’:

Carlow:

The day will be marked by special prayers in more than 30 churches of all denominations throughout the county. The prayers will remember those who died, empathise with bereaved families, acknowledge the work of the emergency services and serve as a reminder of the risks we all face on the roads.

Cork:

A mass will take place in Cork City in the Cathedral of St Mary and St Anne, Roman Street, (Shandon) at 11.30am on Sunday 18 November. It will be attended by personnel from the emergency services, road crash survivors and families of those who have lost loved ones on the road.

Dublin:

The road safety group PARC (Promoting Awareness, Responsibility and Care on our Roads) will launch “Finding Your Way – A Guide for Victims Following the Death or Serious Injury of a Loved one in a Road Traffic Collision” in Buswell’s Hotel on Friday 16 November to mark World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims.

Donegal and Derry:

A commemorative mass will be held in St Connell’s church Glenties Co. Donegal at 11.00am and a mass is planned to take place in St Brigid’s Church, Carnhill, Co. Donegal at 12.30PM.

Louth:

A special memorial mass will take place in the Augustinian Church, Drogheda, Co. Louth at 1.15pm on Sunday 18 November.

Mayo:

A service will take place at Knock Shrine, Co. Mayo at 12pm to remember those who have been killed or seriously injured in road collisions. Mayo County Council will also distribute silver remembrance ribbons throughout the country from November 10-17.

Westmeath:

Westmeath County Council and the Irish Road Victims Association are holding a special ceremony in Mullingar this year. It will take place at 4pm in Belvedere House and Gardens. They will be planting a tree to remember all of those who have lost their lives on our roads. The Gardaí will read the names of those who have sadly lost their lives this year and will light candles in memory of the deceased. Those attending will be invited to take along a photograph of their loved ones and to float a candle on the lake afterwards in their memory. Balloons of remembrance will also be released following the tree planting ceremony.

To mark World Remembrance Day for Road Traffic Victims, the RSA has developed a ‘Wall of Remembrance’ (https://apps.facebook.com/191240797620479/) on its Facebook page www.facebook.com/RSAireland. The Wall of Remembrance is a place for people to come and share their memories, to light a candle and leave a memorial message for a loved one who has been killed or seriously injured on our roads. Since it was set up last year, over 600 people have posted messages in memory of their loved ones.

 

Marcus Scully

On 14 February 2005, Marcus turned 18. 18 days later he was involved in a car crash while on the way home from rugby training and at 2.45am on 5 March 2005, Marcus took his last breath. At that time, Marcus was studying for his Leaving Cert and wanted to become a vet. He was ambitious, driven and highly motivated. He was also a keen sportsman, playing rugby for Garbally College, Gort RFC and hurling for Ardrahan. He was sociable and hugely popular among his peers.

He never got to sit his Leaving Cert and study veterinary. His life was cut short at a very young age and a life that was so promising was never experienced at all because of driver error and speed.

 

Majorie Flood

Majorie Flood’s son Mark was killed after a night out in Dunshaughlin. His tragic death left a family and a much wider community devastated. In the RSA’s ‘Crashed Lives’ ad, Marjorie tells the story of how her family’s world was shaken to its core early one morning, when she found out that her son had been needlessly killed on the road. Marjorie reminds us that until you’re affected, you don’t realise how many people die in preventable crashes on our roads

 

‘Keep Drama off the Roads’

Actor Keith McErlean Launches Road Safety Film Competition Actor and RSA Road Safety Ambassador Keith McErlean today, Thursday 4 October, launched the Road Safety Authority (RSA) and Setanta Insurance national road safety film competition, ‘Keep Drama off the Roads’. Read More

Garda Supporting Safer Communities Campaign

The following News/Alerts have been added to the RSA website:
25 September 2012 Garda Supporting Safer Communities Campaign The 10th Garda ‘Supporting Safer Communities’ Campaign will take place from Tuesday 25th September to Tuesday 2nd October 2012. Read More

Drive safely to the Ploughing Championships

The following News/Alerts have been added to the RSA website:
24 September 2012 Safety message for people travelling to Ploughing Championships With up to 190,000 expected at this week’s National Ploughing Championships (25th to 27th September) in New Ross, the Road Safety Authority (RSA) is today Monday 24th September 2012, advising people travelling to the event to use the roads safely and allow plenty of time to get there. Read More

Weather Alert in Connaught

The following News/Alerts have been added to the RSA website:
24 September 2012 Road Safety Alert – Heavy Rainfall The Road Safety Authority (RSA) is today (Monday 24 September) advising road users in West Connaught to take extra care using the roads as heavy rain is expected in this area today. Read More

Play it Safe This Weekend

The following News/Alerts have been added to the RSA website:
21 September 2012 RSA Asks Supporters to Play it safe! The Road Safety Authority (RSA) has issued a special road safety appeal to all fans driving to the All Ireland Minor and Senior Football Finals on Sunday 23rd September. Read More

No Seat Belt, No Excuse

The following News/Alerts have been added to the RSA website:
24 July 2012 NO SEATBELT, NO EXCUSE According to shocking new figures released by the Road Safety Authority (RSA), today Tuesday 24th July, in the first six months of 2012, 23% of drivers killed and 29% of passengers killed were not wearing seatbelts, at the time of the collision. Read More

Operation “Slow Down” Update

13 July 2012 Garda – Operation “Slow Down” Update 13th July 2012 An Garda Síochána would like to thank the public for their assistance for the duration of last weekend’s “Operation Slow Down”. Read More