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Press Releases


TISPOL Press Briefing on the 24/1/13 at the Coach House, Dublin Castle

TISPOL supports Irish EU Presidency and An Garda Síochána to highlight progress in road casualty reduction.

Senior Representatives of TISPOL, the European Traffic Police Network, are in Dublin today (Thursday 24 January) to support the Irish government and An Garda Síochána in highlighting progress made in road casualty reduction. Together they will take time to consider the European road safety picture and – in particular – the Irish situation, which continues to improve year on year.

Speaking at a joint press conference at Dublin Castle, TISPOL President Koen Ricour praised the progress made in Ireland to reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured in road traffic collisions:-

 "Ireland is recognized internationally as one of the good performers in the EU,” he said. "We believe it is vital that road safety must be highlighted as a priority area, as we work toward Europe’s tough casualty reduction targets set for 2020. We know that the Irish Presidency has identified serious injuries as a priority area, and we share the high hopes of all European road safety organisations that the Presidency team will put road safety at the top of the political agenda. The progress made by Ireland in recent years shows they take this matter very seriously. We believe that much can be learnt by other European countries from the achievements in Ireland. TISPOL has long promoted the exchange of good practice, and will work to identify specific Irish initiatives that could be replicated elsewhere.”

TISPOL President Ricour continued:-

"Across Europe as a whole, there is a mixed picture in terms of progress in reducing casualties on the roads. During 2011, some countries did well, others less well. We supported the Transport Commissioner’s wake-up call issued last spring, and we know that there is a lot of work still to do if we are to ensure a long-term and significant fall in the number of people killed and seriously injured. It has been very pleasing to find that Ireland’s figures have continued to drop and are now at the lowest level ever. It is also clear, from discussions with colleagues in Ireland, that they are not being complacent and that one death is one too many.”

Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence, Alan Shatter TD, is very pleased to highlight the work of TISPOL and said:-

"Whether it is detecting or preventing crime, or reducing road deaths and injuries, traffic policing plays a vital role in safeguarding the lives, and the quality of lives, of Europe’s citizens.   The TISPOL network assists An Garda Síochána, and police forces across the European Union, in carrying out that role successfully and I commend them on their activities. Great importance is attached to alcohol limits and to An Garda Síochána’s engagement to ensure that people comply with those limits. There is no question of our facilitating individuals drinking in excess of the limits. No one in public life should encourage intoxicated individuals over the alcohol limit to drive and place their lives and the lives of others at risk. Reducing fatalities on our roads must always take precedence over promoting the social consumption of alcohol. Thankfully, societal attitudes to drink driving have changed enormously in recent years but enforcement has also played an essential part in reducing death on the roads.  Road safety is of paramount importance in An Garda Síochána's Policing Plan and involves targeted enforcement measures, including the deployment of speed cameras to locations where there is an established or prospective risk of collisions.

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Leo Varadkar said:-

"Road safety is an important focus of the Irish EU Presidency, so I’m delighted that TISPOL’s Executive Committee is meeting in Dublin this week. EU Member States can achieve so much more on road safety if they work together, especially in terms of enforcement and policing. For example, the multi-agency checkpoint that we are visiting today is being replicated across Europe. And that’s why I am hosting a major Presidency conference on road safety in Dublin this March, with a focus on serious injuries.”

Commissioner of An Garda Síochána Mr Martin Callinan said today:-

 "Although Ireland is an island, the TISPOL organisation allows us to easily cross borders and boundaries to bring all EU Police forces together with the vital goals of reducing fatal and serious injury collisions whilst further intercepting and detecting criminals who use the roads. We have achieved significant success in reducing the numbers who have lost their lives on the road, but the challenge for 2013 and beyond will always be to further reduce the number of lives lost and also the number of serious collisions where people suffer life changing injuries. We can always do more. As a small country, criminals in Ireland travel by road to carry out their illegal activities and the success of operations such as Operation Fiacla targeting travelling criminals involved in burglaries and other serious criminal activity, is proof of what can be achieved.”

For more information, please contact TISPOL Media Adviser James Luckhurst (


Society does not want people to die on our roads. The human cost of a road fatality is – of course – beyond any calculation, while the financial toll can be measured in millions. That’s why, in the year 2000, the European Traffic Police Network – or TISPOL – was established; with the clear aim of working towards a system of safer roads in Europe.

As its name suggests, TISPOL is a network… an extensive and effective network of police officers, in which every European Union country is represented. Norway and Switzerland are also members, even though they are outside the EU.

TISPOL’s activities have come on a long way since the early days. Of course, our main achievement has been to contribute to the significant reduction in road deaths across Europe. In 2000, there were more than 54,000 deaths on Europe’s roads. By 2010, this number had dropped to just over 30,000.

Today, TISPOL’s focus has expanded from road traffic safety to include a broader and smarter use of resources and partners. We understand how the road system is used, and we combine traditional police tasks of road safety education and enforcement with the additional focus on traffic crime and road crime.

The types of crime that occur on our roads today are many and varied. Criminals use the roads for their activities, so it is a TISPOL priority to promote the most effective ways of detecting and deterring them. Denying criminals the use of the road leads to a safer environment for everyone, all encompassed with the term - ‘road policing’.

Let’s now take a look at how TISPOL is governed, financed and organised.

The TISPOL Council is the main decision making body. Chaired by the President, the council consists of a senior police representative of each TISPOL member country. There are two Council meetings each year.

The TISPOL Executive Committee is responsible for implementing the decisions of the Council. It is made up of the president, general secretary, treasurer and other selected members.

TISPOL is partly financed by the European Commission, with contributions also coming from TISPOL member countries. EU funding has been critical in order to allow TISPOL to develop.

Day to day business, liaison with the European Commission and relations with European road safety stakeholders is carried out by a small team, headed by the General Secretary. This team is also responsible for planning and presenting the TISPOL conference, as well as overseeing publicity, communications, and regular updates to the TISPOL website.

A key part of TISPOL’s work is the Co-ordination of a number of European-wide enforcement operations in the fields of speed, drink & drugs driving, and the non-wearing of seatbelts. Specific operations focusing on truck and bus safety also form part of the annual operations calendar. Data from each operation is collated and results are published.

TISPOL’s annual international road safety conference is one of the most important dates in the calendar, attracting delegates from around the world to hear about the latest developments in the field of road policing and road safety.

TISPOL has long seen the importance of a relevant strategy, supporting its core business of making Europe’s roads safer and more secure for everyone to use. As the European Commission has developed its Road Safety Action Plan to 2020, TISPOL has also taken the opportunity to ensure a clear focus to its own Strategy. This, we believe, will enable a strong platform for the future and will strengthen our support for the European Commission’s target of a 50% reduction by 2020 in the number of people killed on Europe’s roads.

Please click here for photographs taken