Friday, 7 December 2012

The RSA and icy roads. Mutually exclusive, it seems.

Someone I know rather well is employed in Meath - perish the thought - and encountered one van and a car nestling in the ditch on the way to work on Tuesday morning.   The reason?   Icy roads untroubled by a layer of grit.

Cutbacks, I assume. 

We'll still have the authorities taking down signs to replace them with new ones featuring Gaeilge predominant over the vernacular, and painting out the English on signs leading to the Gaeltacht, but we won't have property-tax/income tax/road tax  money spent on gritting the roads when they are covered in ice.   But this is Ireland, after all.

Any chance of opting out of your "services", Irish authorities, and keeping my money in my pocket in exchange?  No?   I didn't think so.  

  It also makes you wonder about the  RSA (Road Safety Authority) - the quango charged with "saaaving liiiiives" on our roads.   

What is that body for, apart from issuing expensive platitudes?

See excellent letter below, from the corresponding page of The Irish Times, November 30, 2012:

Cold comfort on icy roads

Sir, – Having driven on perilous icy untreated roads from Terenure to Ardee, Co Louth on Wednesday, I witnessed four accidents, five near-accidents and miles of treacherous untreated roads.

Having worked in UK where at the merest whiff of ice or snow a comprehensive management plans swings into action and local authority managers are accountable for their performance in relation to gritting and keeping roads open, I mistakenly assumed such performance standards would pertain in this country.

To this end I telephoned the relevant county councils only to be fobbed off and dismissed. The Road Safety Authority suggested referring the matter to my TD.

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) is tasked with improving safety on our roads in order to reduce death and injury resulting from road collisions. The legal basis for the RSA is set out in the Road Safety Authority Act 2006. An objective of the RSA is to bring Ireland’s road safety record into line with “best practice” countries throughout the world, another is “road safety research”, yet the response was to suggest that road safety is a political issue and not a statutory, civil or human right under the law, and it had no responsibility, merely to suggest that drivers drive “more slowly and with care”.

Only in Ireland, where we pay VRT, VAT, motor tax and excise duty, do we get nothing back but tolled icy roads. If the RSA doesn’t have a policy “remit” for the safety of the actual safety roads itself, what is its remit and why is it in existence?

Where is the joined-up Government performance management of this recurring health hazard? – Yours, etc,

Greenlea Drive,
Dublin 6W.

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Ella said...

Hi GM - Perhaps if the RSA ditched their expensive advertising campaigns and instead made local authorities responsible for gritting roads in their area. RSA campaigns focus on speed, (undoutedly some motorists are killed by speed), but how many are killed by icy roads? There are fatalities because of non-gritted roads. An example attached:

The Gombeen Man said...

"Not my job" says the RSA, Ella.

Another great Irish quango, living off the public purse as though it's still 2006.

DC3 said...

Property Tax, VRT, Motor Tax, Excise Duty, etc etccccccccc

The Gombeen Man said...

And tolls too, DC3. Thanks for the link - though what a depressing, awful, country it is.

albert hall said...

Outside of my house in the South of England a gritting lorry was busy spreading its load everywhere while it was raining! Local weather forecasts here are based on postcodes. I guess the driver had moved too far too fast on his Sat Nav.