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Irish road safety receives €20m boost
The Irish government has announced plans to invest €20m in safety measures as part of a €1.5bn package for Ireland's roads.
Transport minister Martin Cullen (pictured) is also bringing in 31 new penalty point offences to tackle low conviction rates on drink driving, and introducing legislation on a new speed camera network.
As the first year of the Transport 21 project gets underway, the minister also unveiled a four-year €60m 'signs and lines' investment to improve road signage and marking.
Mr Cullen said the scheme and other safety measures - which include safety barriers on all motorways, improved road lay-outs and junction control - would help cut the danger for road users.
The government has come under increasing pressure over the high numbers dying in traffic accidents.
Mr Cullen said the new penalty point offences would come into effect in April. They will be in addition to the four existing offences of speeding, careless driving, driving without insurance and driving without a seatbelt.
Asked what he thought was needed to tackle the safety crisis on Ireland's roads, Mr Cullen said: "It's a combination of strong law and enforcement and the third element is the cultural mindset in Ireland which simply has to change."
He added that 86% of all accidents, deaths and injuries on Ireland's roads were caused by driver behaviour.
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