Ireland has developed a multi-agency approach to road safety through the involvement of a number of agencies working in partnership.
The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTAS) has responsibility for road safety policy and legislation.
The Road Safety Authority (RSA), which comes under the aegis of DTTAS, has particular responsibility for the development of Ireland’s Road Safety Strategy and policies, as well as statutory responsibility for compilation of road collision statistics and the publication of the annual Road Collision Facts Handbook.
An Garda Síochána, which comes under the aegis of the Department of Justice and Equality, is responsible for the enforcement of road safety legislation and plays a key role in the delivery of the goals set out in the Road Safety Strategy.
A central component of the Road Safety Strategy is enforcement. The policing priorities the Minister for Justice and Equality has set for the year ahead include a focus on continuing to reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries on our roads. This is reflected in An Garda Síochána’s Policing Plan 2015.
Gardaí continue to focus their enforcement activities on high risk behaviour and on identified vulnerable road users with a view to reducing the number of serious injury collisions and fatalities on our roads.
Under the Road Safety Strategy and its predecessors, An Garda Síochána has introduced a series of initiatives, including
- establishing the Garda Traffic Corps,
- introducing mandatory alcohol testing (MAT) for drivers,
- introducing new mobile speed detection vans and automated number plate detection technology (ANPR), and
- introduction of a safety camera network, operated by a private service provider.
These initiatives have made a significant contribution to reducing road fatalities.
Further information on these initiatives is on the Garda website
Oversight of Road Safety
The Minister participates in the work of the Ministerial-Committee on Road Safety, the function of which is to oversee the implementation of the Road Safety Strategy and provide a forum for high-level discussion of road safety issues. The Committee is chaired by the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport and attended by the Attorney General, CEO of the Road Safety Authority, the Garda Commissioner and officials from other relevant bodies.
Fixed Charge Processing System
The Fixed Charge Processing System (FCPS), together with the penalty point system, has formed a key part in Ireland’s Road Safety Strategy for several years contributing to enforcement and the reduction in road fatalities.
Criminal Justice (Fixed Charge Processing System) Working Group
The Department is co-chair of the Criminal Justice (Fixed Charge Processing System (FCPS) Working Group.
The Working Group was established following the Garda Inspectorate’s review of the Fixed Charge Processing System. The function of the Criminal Justice (FCPS) Working Group is to oversee and facilitate the implementation of the recommendations of the Report on the Fixed Charge Processing System.
The Inspectorate report’s recommendations were accepted by Government, and published on 12 March, 2014 along with an Action Plan agreed between the Commissioner and the Minister setting out how these recommendations were to be addressed.
The remit of the Working Group has been extended to include oversight of a number of the recommendations of the Garda Professional Standards Unit Examination of the Procedures, Policy and Decision Making Processes in Relation to Cancellations on the Fixed Charge Processing System of Road Traffic Related Offences.