A new road safety strategy will examine whether it is possible to set up a system that would allow drivers to upload videos of other motorists engaged in risky behaviour, potentially allowing for their prosecution.
The Republic’s Fifth Road Safety Strategy sets a target of halving the number of annual road deaths by 2030 and completely eliminating road deaths and serious injuries by 2050.
One of the new measures suggested in the strategy to curb risky driver behaviour is to allow motorists to report on dangerous behaviour by other drivers.
The strategy says “the potential for an online portal for road users to report one another by uploading footage of road traffic offences, which could assist in prosecution” will be explored.
There are a number of ways motorists could record each other, including dashboard-mounted cameras, without having to use hand held recording devices such as smart phones.
Footage recorded by passengers would also be uploaded.
The Road Safety Strategy 2021-2031, published on Tuesday , is to be divided into three phases, the first from 2021-2024; the second from 2025-2027 and the third running from 2028 to 2030.
The first phase of the strategy includes a strong focus on speeding, as well as exploring the possible use of motorist-generated footage, calls for a review of the effectiveness of the current speed camera systems, a review of the setting of speed limits, and ties in with national policy to encourage walking and cycling as elements of “active travel”, particularly in cities.
For the first time, the road safety strategy includes a budget, uniting what various State agencies are to spend on road safety, particularly in relation to safer spaces for active travel within cities and other urban areas.
Aspects of Phase One include:
* Setting up a working group to examine and review the framework for the setting of speed limits. As part of this review there will be specific consideration of the introduction of a 30km/h default speed limit in urban areas.
* Expand speed management measures on all roads in collaboration with An Garda Síochána at appropriate high-risk locations.
* Review the operation of the mobile safety camera system to maximise its effectiveness in detecting road traffic offences.
* Review the penalties for serious road traffic offences.
* Over the period 2021 to 2025, 1,000km of segregated walking and cycling facilities will be constructed or under construction, to provide safe cycling and walking arrangements for users of all ages.
* Develop and implement a safety rating indicator for national road infrastructure, which will help target investment on sections of national roads with the highest risk of fatal or serious injury.
* Tougher measures for learner permit holders in relation to failing to drive accompanies and obeying rules of the road.
* Prioritise lifesaving technologies on cars and commercial vehicles.
* Conduct a review of road traffic policy and legislation to prioritise the safety of walking and cycling.
In the last six months of phase one an action plan and further interim targets for the following phase will be developed.
According to the Road Safety Authority the strategy is led by a “safe system” approach which emphasises the shared responsibility amongst those who design, build, manage and use the roads and vehicles to prevent or reduce collision impacts, and those who provide post-crash response to mitigate injury.
The action plan for phase one (2021-2024) and the Road Safety Strategy 2021-2030 can be found on the Road Safety Authority website.
Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan said the strategy was “ambitious” and “prioritises the safety of those who are most vulnerable, ensuring their right to travel the roads safely is protected”.
He also said concerns about climate change “and the need to change our behaviour are being reflected in increased growth in active travel across Ireland.
“We need to encourage more people to use sustainable forms of transport, e.g., cycling, walking and using public transport, and this must be supported in our strategic thinking around road safety.”