OECD Says Ireland Making Progress On Road Safety

A major European watchdog has said Ireland has made "substantial" improvements in road safety.

In the latest report from the OECD, Ireland is now ranked 10th safest country out of 27 OECD countries world wide.

The report looked at the road safety performance of 27 countries around the world, participating in its International Traffic Safety Data and Analysis Group (IRTAD), for the year 2008 and also examined the longer term trends in each country.

In its ‘Country Report’ for Ireland it said that "substantial reductions in road fatalities have been recorded".

Specifically, Ireland was the fifth most improved country out of 27 participating OECD countries world wide in 2008 when compared to 2007. As a result, Ireland is now ranked the 10th safest country out of these 27 countries world wide, with 6.3 fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants in 2008.

The report also said that there was a 17% decrease in road fatalities in 2008 compared to 2007; that fatalities had decreased by 30% over the same period and that since 2000, the risk of being involved in a fatal collision has almost halved.

However the report also highlighted the fact that young people, especially 18 to 20 year-olds, are still a high risk group in Ireland, with a fatality risk three times higher than that of the general population. It also found that for a motorcyclist, the risk of dying in a traffic crash per vehicle kilometres travelled is about 23 times higher than that for a car occupant.

Measured in terms of road deaths per 100,000 population, the safest country out of the 27 participating OECD countries covered by the report is Iceland, with 3.81 deaths. The worst is Greece with 14.43 deaths per 100,000 population.

The OECD global report follows an earlier EU report published in mid 2009 by the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) which has ranked Ireland sixth safest country in the European Union.


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