The Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council Terence Slowey will today launched the Donegal Road Safety Plan 2016-2021 produced by the Donegal Road Safety Working Group, with the objective of improving road safety for all road users.
The Donegal Road Safety Working Group is an interagency group consisting of Donegal County Council, Transport Infrastructure Ireland, An Garda Siochana, Road Safety Authority, Donegal Youth Service, Donegal ETB, Pro Social Drivers Programme and HSE Ambulance Service.
These agencies meet on a monthly basis to develop and implement road safety initiatives and campaigns.
The Road Safety Plan sets out the priorities for improving road safety in County Donegal. The Plan will consolidate and build on the achievements of the previous plans and will be achieved by a series of objectives, Education, Engineering, Enforcement and Evaluation.
Some of the initiatives include promoting cross border co-operation on road safety, continuing to develop the road safety road show, review speed limits in accordance with National guidelines and legislation, high visibility enforcement targeting errant road user behaviour, drink driving and the non wearing of seatbelts.
The Cathaoirleach, Cllr. Terence Slowey, explains that the plan focuses on the efforts of all involved in road safety and highlighting the need for community support for its full implementation. “Donegal County Council has an important role to play in promoting road safety and the Donegal Road Safety Plan 2016 to 2021 will focus on the reduction in road collisions through Education, Enforcement, Engineering and ongoing Evaluation. Actions and targets are set to allow progress to be reviewed over the lifetime of the plan. The Plan also seeks to encourage every member of the community to play their part in reducing road collisions by taking responsibility for their own behaviour as road users. I would like to thank all those agencies who participated in the formulation of the Plan which will raise public awareness on the important issue of Road Safety”.
The Chief Executive of Donegal County Council, Seamus Neely welcomes the new plan, acknowledging the contributions from all members of the Donegal Road Safety Working Group. “I am delighted to see the publication of the latest Road Safety Plan for the County and I believe that this plan is a very important step towards improving the safety for all road users. We all have to take responsibility for our actions. This road safety plan gives us a direction to follow towards safer roads for our communities.”
Inspector Michael Harrison from An Garda Síochána believes "Reducing the number of deaths and injuries on Donegal’s roads is a responsibility we all share. Enforcement of road traffic laws will continue to play a critical role in the new Road Safety Plan as An Garda Síochána seeks to ensure that fewer lives are lost and serious injuries sustained as a result of preventable tragedies.”
The awareness activities listed under the Educational measures will seek to change the attitudes of the next generation of road users through programmed initiatives in schools, colleges, Youthreach and ETB Centres.
Dr Sandra Buchanan, Donegal ETB and Member of the Working Group explains "Education has a key role to play in ensuring that our next generation of road users are fully aware of the dangers and implications of dangerous and inappropriate driving. Donegal ETB looks forward to working in partnership with all the agencies to successfully deliver the objectives of the Plan".
Gareth Gibson, Donegal Youth Information Manager says “Donegal Youth Service are members of the DRSWG and are supportive of all initiatives and campaigns. Through our direct links with young people in our projects, information centre and work with the Donegal Youth Council we are committed like all other DRSWG members to doing all we can to ensure the effective implementation of this plan, with a view to making the roads of Donegal a safer place to be for all.
Brian O’Donnell, Donegal Road Safety Officer says, “This is an important day for road safety in Donegal as we launch the new Road Safety Plan. Progress is being made but Donegal continues to pay a heavy price on its roads with far too many people killed or maimed as a result of road traffic collisions. We must keep educating drivers and reminding the public of their responsibilities as road users and highlight that the key to making roads safer in Donegal rests with the people and communities in the county. Road safety is everyone’s responsibility. I want to take this opportunity again to appeal to all road users to redouble their efforts in road safety as any progress we have made can be erased very quickly”.
The Donegal Road Safety Working Group at their monthly meeting will monitor the Plans progress and review indicators that will measure the activities under each relevant objective.
The Road Safety Plan can be downloaded at www.donegalcoco.ie under Publications.