Dublin Commuter Coalition Chairperson Feljin Jose and Committee member Lauren Tuite met with Jack Chambers, Minister of State at the Department of Transport and at the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications, on 15 February.
The discussion covered:
road safety, including the Government's Road Safety Strategy Phase 1 Action Plan for 2021–2024,
default 30kph speed limits in urban areas,
camera-based enforcement of junctions, bus lanes and cycle paths, and
The Road Safety Strategy and "Safe Systems"
The current Road Safety Strategy adopts the Safe Systems approach that has achieved dramatic reductions in death and injury in places like Denmark, while increasing the number of people walking, cycling and using public transport.
Safe Systems works by removing the risk that anyone–driver, passenger, pedestrian or cyclist–is exposed to so much crash force that they are seriously injured or killed.
The human body, its vulnerability, becomes the basic parameter of the design of the transportation system.
Pushing for Progress
Minister Chambers has responsibility for Road Safety and Safe Routes to School. We hope his training as a medical doctor and previous role as Minister for Sport will guide him to make transformational change; to safeguard public health and our sustainable transport investment.
For too long we have had a cultural blind spot about road death and injury. The RSA has prioritised low impact measures like education and awareness campaigns when we need high impact measures in engineering, design and enforcement, to deliver safe roads and healthy streets.
This is why we are advocating for default 30kph speed limits in urban areas & for camera based enforcement–the responsibility for operating a vehicle safely should be borne by drivers, not by children. The penalty for breaking the rules should be tickets, not life changing injury.
The last few years have seen a devastating rise in the numbers of pedestrians and cyclists killed on our roads, and yet the RSA have failed to share data on collisions with Dublin City Council and refused to meet the Council's Transport Committee.
We will continue to work with Department of Transport officials to push for the full and vigorous implementation of the Road Safety Strategy and we urge our followers to demand action from their local and national representatives.