While the increase in the number of road deaths in 2016 is very disappointng there are many aspects to the problem that are not being highlighted.
While the problems of drinking and driving, speeding and the use of mobile phones are being rightly highlighted as causes of death and injury on our roads ,the poor state of many of the roads nationwide especially in rural areas is something that is hardly ever mentioned. This is an issue that I have raised in the past few weeks and we have seen the recent report which stated that up to 10,000 kilomoeters of roads around the country needed to be repaired.
There is no doubt that sub standrad roads are also partly to blame for the increasing number of road accidents but it is seldom mentioned in case local authorities or the Government might be found liable. Minister Ross must demand that he recieve an adequate budget for the repair of local and regional roads and that a programme be drawn up to carry out these works over the coming years.
With regard to the claim that there are many thousands of extra uninsured drivers on the roads, one aspect that is never taken into consideration is the number of vehicles that are not on the road and are not being used. I am aware of many houses around the country where there are cars, vans and other vehicles which are off the road and are not being used and these are being included in the numbers of uninsured vehicles. This is giving a false look to the figures that we have seen and that must be remembered.