Transport committee demands road fatality data

It is “hugely important” that both the gardaí and the Road Safety Authority (RSA) provide clarity on official road fatality statistics to the Oireachtas Transport Committee, its chairman, Fergus O’Dowd, has said.

Fergus O'Dowd.

Mr O’Dowd said there was planned legislation on road safety currently before the Dáil but it was proving controversial.

He wanted all of the facts to be available as soon as possible in the interests of everybody’s safety on the roads.

Mr O’Dowd said that, this bank holiday weekend, tens of thousands of people were driving on the roads. He wanted the figures to be available because they could help make the roads safer.

He was speaking on RTÉ radio yesterday about written assurances being sought by the RSA since July 2017 about the accuracy of road death statistics.

The RSA had asked for written confirmation that all dangerous driving causing death incidents that occurred between 2003 and 2016 were correctly classified as fatal road traffic accidents.

The RSA said it had been given verbal assurances as to the validity of the road death figures and it accepted the bona fides of the gardaí on the matter.

Concerns were raised by the Central Statistics Office about reporting of homicide figures and issues in relation to reporting of incidents of dangerous driving causing death.

An Garda Síochána told the RSA it was unable to provide the written assurances sought while a review of homicide figures was under way and that was still a number of months from being completed.

Mr O’Dowd said the RSA and gardaí should come before the committee and clarify the situation. In the meantime, he saw no reason why gardaí could not assist the authority in bringing the statistics up to date.

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