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Home / News / RSA reform recommendations due over coming months, says Minister

RSA reform recommendations due over coming months, says Minister

Recommendations on reforming the Road Safety Authority will be brought forward this summer, according to Minister of State at the Department of Transport Jack Chambers.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Prime Time, he said the organisation is nearly 20 years in existence and he believed “we can build on their important work and bring reform where required.”

“You have to have an independent assessment of all organisations and agencies across the State to make sure they are modernised in the context of the new strategies that we have,” he said.

The Road Safety Authority’s remit is to save lives and prevent injuries by reducing the number and severity of collisions on the road.

Last year was the worst year in nearly a decade for road fatalities. If trends continue as they are currently, the minister said, this year looks set to be significantly worse.

In recent weeks, the Department of Transport announced it has commissioned an external review of the RSA, which has a budget of approximately €100m.

Asked whether the RSA was fulfilling its remit, the minister said “that’s why we’re doing an external review,” adding he had confidence in the organisation.

The minister also said there was a need for “a significant improvement in enforcement” when it comes to driving laws.

“Enforcement levels have collapsed. We need to see tangible allocations to Roads Policing Units,” he said.

Read more: Rising road deaths: Why is Ireland bucking the European trend?

The number of garda members assigned to Roads Policing Units is down 100 over the last two years.

Assistant Garda Commissioner with Responsibility for Roads Policing Paula Hillman said “as recruitment increases, we will increase our complement in roads policing.”

Speaking on the same programme, she said: “This year we will aim to put 75 more members back into Roads Policing, to replace those who have left.”

She said education, engineering, and technology is also important.

“We want to do our utmost to play our part.”

RSA Chief Executive Sam Waide defended the RSA’s record, and said he would be writing to the Assistant Garda Commissioner to ask for an increase in checks on NCT compliance in vehicles on the roads.

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