Wednesday 07 November 2018
Today the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Shane Ross T.D. announced that he has secured additional funding for salt stocks as part of his Department’s preparation for winter 2018-19.
At the launch of the Partnership Governments 2018-19 be “Winter Ready” campaign at the National Emergency Coordination Centre in Dublin today, Minister Ross said:
“Winter Ready” is all about keeping safe during difficult weather changes. As Minister for Transport I am very concerned about safety on our roads, especially in hazardous conditions. Studies show that the use of road salt reduces collisions by up to 85% during a winter event.
Last year’s salt reserves were seriously depleted by Storm Emma. Therefore this year I have secured an additional €700,000 in funding for salt supplies in preparation for severe weather events.
As our “Winter Ready” focus this year is on communities, I would like to ask people to work together to get through this winter season safely; look out for each other and remember those elderly or isolated people who may need checking in on.
Please heed messages from the Road Safety Authority on how to keep safe on our roads, whether you’re driving, walking or cycling. In these days of little light, it’s so important to be seen at all times. Wear hi-vis vests. Make sure your lights work. Use reflectors. Don’t take risks.
In particular, I would ask motorists to watch out for cyclists. Those hardy citizens who abandon vehicles for bicycles do us all a great service by greatly reducing traffic congestion and lowering emissions. Give them the respect – and the space – that they deserve.
As we are coming into the season of good cheer and celebrations, I would ask you all not to drink and drive. As you know, the new drink driving regulations commenced last month and now anyone caught drink or drug driving will receive an automatic disqualification. If you’re off out for a well-deserved festive evening, please take public transport or nominate a designated driver.
Similarly, speeding, particularly in wintry conditions, can be treacherous. My Department is currently developing proposals for graduated penalties for speeding offences, and I would ask you all to take great care to stay within the designated limit.
Currently road fatalities – though still far too high – are the lowest on record. Let’s keep it that way this winter. Stay safe.”