14/09/2011

Attwood Convenes Special Road Safety Forum

Environment Minister Alex Attwood will today convene a special Road Safety Forum to highlight initiatives he wants to introduce to reduce road casualties.

These include a reduction in the drink drive limit, a change to the 45 mile per hour speed limit for learners and restricted drivers and the mutual recognition of penalty points for offences committed in the north or south.

In addition to the local emergency services, the meeting will bring together representatives of a range of organisations with an interest in road safety and transport, younger and older people’s groups and insurers.

Minister Attwood said: "I am keen to share my views and listen to people, who, like me, wish to see swift action to further reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured on our roads. In recent years much has been achieved but more remains to be done.

"The main issues to be tackled are impairment, carelessness and speed. I am finalising plans for major new initiatives which will include reducing the drink drive limit and increasing the 45 mph speed restriction on learner and restricted drivers. I want to see new drivers being fit to drive at speeds used by fellow road users.

"I am working with my counterpart in Dublin, Minister Varadkar TD, to address these and other road safety issues across the island. We face the same challenges, with many of the same road users travelling north and south, and it makes sense for us to work together to identify and implement solutions.

"I want to engage with stakeholders to hear from them how we might improve personal responsibility, driving standards and compliance with road traffic laws and the Highway Code. I also want to hear how we can get communities and businesses more involved in tackling road safety issues."

(CD/GK)

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