Thursday 08 June 2017
Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Shane Ross TD, today attended the Transport Council in Luxembourg where EU Transport Ministers met to agree on a number of Transport initiatives.
EU Ministers recognised that driving under the influence of alcohol continues to be a major cause of road collisions.
Speaking at the Transport Council, Minister Ross expressed concern that “the reality of the dreadful scourge that is drink-driving has not gone away, particularly among young people.”
The Minister informed other Member States that Ireland was “moving to provide for automatic disqualification of all drivers found to be over the legal limit”.
Echoing the comments made by the Minister at the International Road Safety Conference in Dublin last week, the Minister noted with regret the intense lobbying by vintners against this move and also expressed an interest in hearing whether other Member States had experienced such lobbying.
In Ireland, 68 people have lost their lives on our roads to date this year. While this is a reduction of 12 deaths compared to the same time last year, every road death is one too many and a renewed effort is necessary from all road users to make our roads safer for all.
The Minister also welcomed the formal affirmation by the Council, through the adoption of Conclusions, of the principles set out in the Valletta Declaration on Road Safety. This was an initiative of the Maltese Presidency where EU Transport Ministers affirmed the European Union’s ambition to halve the number of road deaths between 2010 and 2020. The Valletta Declaration clearly sets out the range of areas and actions that Member States must pursue in order to save lives and reduce the serious injuries on our roads.