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9.Road Safety Authority

The Road Safety Authority RSA

1957, the Minister for Local Government Patrick O’Donnell copied and used the incorrect 1946 Highway Code stopping distances in the Rules of the Road in Ireland.  These stopping distances were used by Gardai and driving instructors between 1997 and 2006. This is the stopping distance formula used by many Ministers for Environment and Transport worldwide since 1946 and by Minister Shane Ross 71 years later in 2017.

The RSA was established in 2006 and Brian Farrell having transferred from the National Safety Council became the RSA Communications Manager and in 2007 commissioned Ian York at the Transport Research Laboratory TRL to supply the stopping distances for publication in the 2007 Rules of the Road in Ireland.

On 13 05 2003, I brought my research discovery to the attention of the National Safety Council NSC Chief Executive Officer P.C. Costello where Brian Farrell was a member before transferring to the RSA.

Essential Driver Training EDT

On 04 04 2011, the Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar introduced Essential Driver Training EDT which MUST be taught in 12 hours in order to Protect Learner Drivers.  EDT was designed based on incorrect Recommendations, Supporting Evidence as well as a Review of EDT for Michael Dolan RSA, by Dr Charles Johnson Competence Assurance Systems CAS.  All involved in the production of EDT declined a request to demonstrate delivery as outlined, however

  • 3 05 2012 @ 10:56, Brian Farrell again commissioned Ian York at TRL to supply the stopping distances for a new 40 km/h speed limit in Ireland; “Could you let me know if you would provide stopping distances (in dry and wet) for a 40 km/h speed limit as per table you supplied in 2007.  If memory serves me right the methodology is the same as the way stopping distances are calculated for your own ‘Highway Code’”.

In June 2012, Mr. Brian Farrell RSA was provided with Client Project Report TRL Review RPN2213 of stopping distances conducted by I. York and M Jones for SRA and not RSA. The RPN2213 Disclaimer states, this report was produced by TRL under contract with SRA. Any views expressed are not necessarily those of SRA.  This Review is not publicly available but I was handed a copy by Ms Moyagh Murdock the RSA CEO.

The 23 Reference Books which are listed in the Review are dated from 1972 to 1998. Reference book 20, Triggs and Harris (1982), Reaction time of drivers, Report HFR-12, Monash University, uses Reference Book, the Problem of the Amber Signal Light by Denos Gazis, Robert Herman and Alexei Maradudin published on 01 02 1960.  It also contains the incorrect 1981 AR Quimby and JR Watts TRL 1004 stopping formula. Maradudin’s mistake in forgetting to allow for traffic slowing to turn at traffic lights when he wrote the amber light time formula was published in the Engineering Manuals until it was discovered by Brian Ceccarelli, Joseph Shovlin and Mats Jarlstrom and outlined by Jon Camp ABC11 news and proven to be incorrect by my use of VBOX.

TRL Review RPN2213 as well as making references to statements by Drive and Stay Alive and other non profit organisations, states; “The current stopping distances use the same assumptions as those within the UK Highway Code. Given the investigation of these assumptions it would appear that the Assumed perception-reaction time is in line with those where drivers are highly alert and possibly aware of the need to react.  It should also be assumed that the stopping distances are under emergency conditions and that perception-reaction times vary greatly across the population and are between 0.50 to 3.50 seconds.  This implies that the values discussed in this report should be used as a guide and not as a measure of safe driving distances”.

  • TRL representatives I York and M Jones are mistaken and have misled Brian Farrell RSA and many more.
  • Review RPN2213 prepared for the SRA is flawed and should not have been accepted by the RSA engineers
  • There are no assumptions with the Driving ScoreCard System based on VBOX measurements
  • I invite TRL, SRA, RSA and any rule maker worldwide to disprove my research findings while using VBOX.

On 25 09 2013, Ms Velma Burns who replaced Mr Michael Brosnan as the Road Safety Authority Research Manager accepted that the RSA do not know the formula for calculating stopping distances while, on 27 09 2013, Michael Dolan the RSA Chief Driving Tester and Head of Education said, The RSA are not making any claims that these are actual stopping distances, so

  • How then can stopping distances be taught by Driving instructors if they are not known?

On the 31 12 2013, Mr. Brendan Mulhall a driving tester at the Finglas Driving Test Centre would not allow the use of VBOX in a tuition car during a driving test while in 2012, as a result of a High Court Case taken by the RSA and ‘Stated’ the decision of a driving tester may never again be queried, even by the courts.

On the 19 08 2014, when I had outlined my research discovery in book and video during a 2 hour presentation at the Road Safety Authority Headquarters in Ballina in the presence of; Ms Moyagh Murdock, RSA CEO, Mr Michael Rowland, RSA Director of Road Safety Research and Driver Education, Mr Michael Dolan, RSA Head of Education and Chief Driving Tester, and Ms Velma Burns, RSA Research Manager, they rejected my research findings.  The RSA representatives declined an invitation to watch a demonstration of my research findings but gave me a copy of the 2012 TRL Review RPN2213 prepared by I. York for SRA, not Brian Farrell in the RSA.

On 08 08 2014, the RSA Chief Executive Officer Ms Moyagh Murdock appears to have misled the Dail when she defended the different stopping formulas outlined by TRL in response to Parliamentary Questions 721/2 posed on my behalf by Roisin Shortall TD when she again used Client Report RPN2213.

  • On 23 02 2017, Eamon Kennedy the RSA Freedom of Information Officer released the name of the RSA Officer who requested the TRL Report RPN 2213 which was then produced for SRA and not RSA.

On 07 01 2016, Ms Caroline Greene, Engineer Vehicle Standards, Road Safety Authority received a second TRL Report CPR 2161 v2 which she had commissioned from TRL.  The Report was commissioned in relation to the condition of the shock absorbers fitted in car registration 95 D 2534 which was involved in a crash resulting in the death of the driver Ms. Amanda O’Flaherty on 29 12 2012. The Report was used by Ms. Moyagh Murdock RSA CEO during the Prime Time Programme on 21 04 2016 to prove that a car with two good or two faulty shock absorbers should pass an NCT in accordance with European Union Regulations, while a car with one good and one faulty shock absorber should fail due to imbalance. This is a wrong EU rule. 

  • The name of the person who requested this Report from TRL was redacted and a request to have the name released was firstly refused by Eamon Kennedy the RSA Freedom of Information Officer FOI and again by Pearse White a more senior RSA FOI Officer.  The information was released by the RSA after an appeal to the Office of the Information Commissioner.
  • However the name remains redacted on the official RSA Web Page on 09 03 2017 and any person who wishes to get it will have to go through the same procedure under FOI.

Prime Time investigator Mr. Paul Murphy produced engineers working in Ireland and some who had qualified and were lecturing at Dublin City University DCU.  The DCU engineers used a simple test for shock absorbers which may be conducted by any car driver while the Engineers from TRL, two of whom were retired police officers using Mahameters, claimed the shock absorber would have to be dismantled in order to be examined. Mahameters are described in the Report as being similar to millimetres with 1,000 to each metre.  Ex Police Officers Simon Hall, Senior Consultant Investigations Group with a BSc (Hons) MITAI MAIRSO and Phil Balderstone MIMI Vehicle Examination Consultant Investigations Group would both have used the incorrect 1946 Highway Code and the incorrect 1981 TRL 1004 stopping formulas as police officers.

Ms Moyagh Murdock the RSA CEO and Ms. Anne Graham the National Transport Authority NTA CEO both have MBAs from DCU, while many NCT testers also qualified at DCU. If the TRL Engineers are correct and DCU Engineers are incorrect, then the qualifications issued at DCU would be in doubt.

RSA National Car Test NCT

wheelOn 21 03 2016, the wheel and tyre of my car was buckled by 18.20mm during the National Car Test and issued with a Pass Certificate.  The NCT test was conducted by, ‘LM’, the damage was examined by the supervisor ‘Neil 367’ and ‘John’ the NCT manager who declined to provide their surnames.  They claimed the damage was on the car when presented and was correctly passed in accordance with EU Regulations which allows damage of 13mm.  Applus rejected my claim for compensation as did the AA appeals engineer Mr. Keith Doyle.

On 29 06 2016, I lodged a claim in the Small Claims Court for 260.60 which Alexis Moore offered to pay to aid the court services and as a good will payment without prejudice. I rejected this offer as a dangerously defective car was certified as road worthy by the NCT.

  • Gardai and RSA engineers were now using TRL Engineers while the NCT Engineers were using AA Engineers, but Road fatalities in 2016 were 25 higher than in 2012 and 2015.

RSA Conference Rules

On 28 04 2016, Professor Oliver Carsten, delivered a presentation on behalf of the Institute for Transport Studies, Leeds University at the RSA Annual International Conference on the advantages of Intelligent Speed Adaptation ISA.   Oliver Carsten and Samantha Jamson had researched, ‘The effect of Advisory ISA on driver’s choice of speed’. Professor Carsten estimates that with ISA there would be a reduction of 29% in injury crashes and a reduction of 50% in fatal crashes.  However similar estimates anticipated by the 13 members of the Expert Group on the introduction of speed detection cameras in 2005 failed to materialise.

The conference should not have proceeded until the different stopping distance formulas used worldwide and the Research by Prof. Samantha Jamson in 2012 was clarified. This research was conducted on a simulator at Leeds University for Ensure Insurance Company and was removed after my queries while Prof. Samantha Jamson, Gardai and the RSA have so far not responded to my queries. The research claimed; “Eating while driving is more dangerous than drunk driving and drivers with a reaction time of 5 seconds on average when driving with two hands on the wheel would increase to just over 7 seconds when eating at the wheel”.

  • Drivers with a reaction time of 5 or 7 seconds should be declared medically unfit to drive by a medical Practitioner.