*To ask the Minister for Transport when he intends to implement the application of developments in the field of telematics to road safety; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
*For WRITTEN answer on Thursday, 24th October,2002.
Ref No: 19673/02
Answered by the Minister for Transport
(Séamus Brennan TD)
The Government's Strategy on Road Safety recognises that telematics, or Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) has great potential to improve the overall management of transportation, including road safety. It is Government policy that the relevant Irish transport authorities should support the application both of developments in the field of ITS to road safety, drawing on international work in this field.
Practical examples of the application of ITS in Ireland include the real-time parking information signs in Dublin and the variable information signs on the approaches to Kildare. The introduction of variable signage on the M50 for traffic management and road safety purposes is also well advanced.
ITS is an unfolding concept and further progress in exploiting it, particularly for road safety purposes will depend on the pace and scope of developments in the field. Accordingly, my Department has recently joined ERTCO which is a European body concerned with the promotion of telematics on road and public transport in Europe which will help inform future developments in Ireland. Also my Department is currently considering the role of telematics as part of a future transport research programme.
Furthermore, Dublin City Council in association with the Department of the Environment and Local Government, the National Roads Authority, Trinity College Dublin and my Department, has organised a conference on ITS for early November. One of the main objectives of the Conference is to promote increased understanding of the potential contribution of ITS to improved traffic management (which would include road safety) as well as public transport in Ireland.