IrishCycle.com is reader-funded journalism. To keep it going and free-to-view, it takes people like you to act now and subscribe today for €5, €10, or €20 per month.

An RSA campaign targeting car use reduction would amount to ‘shaming’, claims CEO

— Senator says it’s not about shaming, high levels of traffic has knock-on impact for climate and safety.

When asked if the Road Safety Authority would run a campaign on car use reduction for both safety and climate reasons, the CEO of the authority said that it “does not single out any one particular user or try to shame one particular user into doing less or more of something”.

The comments by RSA CEO Sam Waide were made at the Oireachtas Committee on Transport last week when he was responding to a question by Senator Pauline O’Reilly (Green Party), who asked about the link between safety, climate change and reducing car use.

While Waide’s comments can be seen as a gap in the road safety plan, there are measures to reduce car use included in the Government’s Road Safety Strategy 2021 – 2030, which the Road Safety Authority (RSA) drafted.

The Road Safety Strategy states: “Actions under safe and healthy modes of travel within the 2021–2024 action plan will include a core focus on provision of safe infrastructure (e.g., segregated walkways and cycle lanes) and speed management. Traffic reduction measures, such as the potential for pedestrianising and car-free streets will also be explored.”

The gap between what is in the strategy and the answer from the RSA’s CEO will likely raise further questions.

At the Committee last week, Senator O’Reilly said: “The fewer the number of cars moving around, the fewer deaths there are. We also know that the lower the speed limit, the greater the number of people cycling and walking. We also need to think about the fact that making it slightly uncomfortable for road users who are in their cars can have a knock-on impact in taking people out of their cars and putting them into cycle lanes and onto buses and getting them walking. That modal shift must be part of this conversation. Is this RSA campaign aligned with another campaign around reducing car use?”

Responding directly afterwards, Waide said: “At the heart of the road safety strategy is road safety. It is outcome-based. It aims to reduce serious injuries and fatalities by 50% by 2030. We have developed this strategy cognisant of wider policy strategies, including the climate change challenge and the transport strategies developed with industry players and others. The road safety strategy has been developed with all those in mind.”

He said: “For the RSA, road safety does not single out any one particular user or try to shame one particular user into doing less or more of something. It is encouraging, facilitating and enabling all road users to share the road respectfully and that includes vulnerable road users.

He added: “On climate change and the reduction in emissions of vehicles being used, the RSA, as a road safety authority, has not got into that.”


You're read this much of the article... So, if you value our journalism, please subscribe today for €5, €10, or €20 per month.


Senator O’Reilly said: “We should not look at it as shaming. I was not saying it is about shaming. I was saying both things have benefits for people’s lives and it has to be seen in that way. Most of us use different forms of transport. If you are in car behind small children cycling, you are putting them under pressure all the time. That makes cycling much more difficult for them the next time they go out on the road. As such, this has a knock-on impact related to climate and safety.”

IrishCycle.com is reader-funded journalism. That means it's funded by readers like you.

Subscription drive update: IrishCycle.com reached its target of 270 subscribers by the end of August -- thank you to all who have helped! Our new target is to have 300 subscribers by the end of 2022 -- originally this was hoped to be exceeded by the first year of running the site full time (end of October).

If you can help push IrishCycle.com above 300 subscribers, please subscribe today for €5 or more. If you have already done so -- thank you!

Please remember, every month there's a natural drop-off in subscriptions due to people getting new cards, cards stolen, Revolut not topped up etc.

***

IrishCycle.com is a reader-funded journalism publication. Effectively it's an online newspaper covering news and analyses of cycling and related issues, including cycle route designs, legal changes, and pollical and cultural issues.

There are examples, big and small, which show that the reader-funded or listener-funding model can work to support journalism -- from the Dublin Inquirer and The Guardian to many podcasts. To make it work for IrishCycle.com, it just needs enough people like you to believe!

Monthly subscriptions will give IrishCycle.com's journalism a dependable base of support. But please don't take free access for granted. Last year IrishCycle.com had an average of 15,800 readers per month and we know our readers include people who cycle and those who don't, politicians, officials and campaigners.

I know only a small percentage of readers will see the value of keeping this open enough to subscribe, that's the reality of the reader-funded model. But more support is needed to keep this show on the road.

The funding drive was started in November 2021 and, as of the start of June 2022, 250 readers have kindly become monthly subscribers -- thank you very much to all that have!

But currently, it's only around 1.6% of readers who subscribe. So, if you can, please join them and subscribe today via ko-fi.com/irishcycle/tiers

Cian Ginty
Editor, IrishCycle.com

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.