01/08/2019

89 Deaths On Irish Roads So Far This Year

Eighty-nine people have died on Irish roads so far in 2019, a 7% increase from last year, a new report has revealed.

The provisional review conducted by the Road Safety Authority (RSA) and An Garda Síochána also showed 80 collisions were recorded from 01 January to 28 July.

January and February were the worst months for road fatalities with 16 deaths in each month.

40% of fatalities this year have happened on a Sunday and Monday, with 70 deaths occurring on rural roads with a speed limit of 80km/h or higher.

RSA CEO, Ms Moyagh Murdock condemned the "alarming" figures and called for a focus of attention.

She said: "The figures released today are alarming. Clearly, the progress we have made in road safety over the last two years is at risk of stalling. The vast majority of deaths and injuries on our roads are preventable. If we want to prevent any more tragedies on our roads we need to focus our attention on where the greatest risk is. The review presented today shows that this is at weekends and particularly on a Sunday. We are asking road users take greater care at these times and we want to see more targeted enforcement by An Garda Siochána at weekends if we are to reverse this worrying increase in 2019. The RSA are going to be focusing on enforcement activities in the commercial vehicle sector. We have also reduced Driving Test waiting times to their lowest ever so there is no excuse for people to be relying long term on a learner permit. I am calling on these drivers to take professional lessons which will prepare them for the test and make them better drivers."

RSA Chairperson, Ms Liz O’Donnell added: "Looking to the rest of the year it is vital that we don’t lose focus on the need for greater enforcement to tackle the main killer behaviours on the road. Key to this is the appropriate resourcing and investment in the roads policing unit. The roll out of the mobility project to front line gardai needs to be accelerated in order to respond to the increase in deaths in 2019. This mobile phone technology will revolutionise road safety enforcement as it will give Gardaí at the roadside access to critical information such as driver disqualifications, insurance and NCT compliance. We see it as the most important development in enforcement since the introduction of the roadside breathalyser test. I would call on the Commissioner to ensure that the roll out is accelerated."

(CM/JG)

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