Former minister Liz O’Donnell will replace veteran broadcaster Gay Byrne as the new road safety tsar.

 

Liz O’Donnell has been appointed as chairperson of the Road Safety Authority by the Government

Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe will bring the appointment to Cabinet this morning.

The high-profile position is vacant since Mr Byrne stood down during the summer on reaching his 80th birthday.

Along with Liz as the new chairperson, Mr Donohoe is also due to appoint three new board members to the RSA.

The road safety drive over the past decade has seen road deaths drop significantly, but fatalities are now on course to increase again this year.

Liz  has been given a five-year tenure as chair of the Road Safety Authority (RSA) following Gay Byrne’s retirement.

She expressed an interest in serving on a State board following a 2010 initiative to encourage women candidates which has seen more than 30 women appointed to similar positions.

And she says she aims to further reduce the number of deaths that occur in Ireland every year.

The number of deaths on the road dropped to an all-time low of 162 in 2012 but took a sharp rise last year to 190. One area she has pledged to tackle is the “modern scourge” of motorists texting while driving.

“I was seriously injured so as a result I have been very conscious of road traffic accidents and the calamity and the personal tragedies that flow from accidents,” Liz O’Donnell