Most deadly county for driving revealed
Concern as Monaghan's fatality rate is three times the national average
THE most dangerous counties in which to drive have been revealed by the Road Safety Authority (RSA).
Based on population, Monaghan has by far the highest fatality rate with 132 deaths per million people – more than three times the national average.
Kerry, Donegal, Sligo and Kildare are also well above average, prompting concerns that reductions in deaths and serious injuries on our roads achieved in recent years are in danger of being lost unless drivers change their behaviour.
Some 190 people died on Irish roads last year, up 28 on 2012. It was the first year of increases since 2005.
The death rate was driven by rises in deaths across five counties, including a 15-fold increase in one county.
The number of people killed in Kildare rose from one to 15, followed by large increases in Monaghan (two to eight), Tipperary (four to 12), Kerry (seven to 13) and Dublin (12 to 19).
The 'Road Traffic Deaths by Road User and County 2007 – 2013' report was compiled by RSA researchers using data from An Garda Siochana.
It found that all but two counties had achieved marked reductions in fatal collisions over the six-year period studied.
* There has been a 44pc reduction in road fatalities since 2007, with the greatest declines in Clare and Louth, down 83pc and 75pc respectively.
* The only counties where increases were recorded in the same period were Kildare and Monaghan, which rose 15pc and 33pc. There was no change in Offaly.
* Expressed as a proportion of population, Monaghan, Kerry and Donegal had the highest fatality rates in 2013.
* The lowest death rates are in Dublin and Clare.
* The sharpest drops in fatalities between 2007 and 2013 were among cyclists, down 67pc, goods vehicle drivers (66pc) and pedestrians (62pc).
* A total of 1,605 people died on the roads in the period studied.
* The death rate among car drivers in Cork has remained largely unchanged over the six years – 14 died in 2007, and the same number again in 2013.
RSA chief executive Moyagh Murdock said drivers and all road users had to "redouble" their efforts to reduce the number of fatalities and serious injuries.
She said: "We must all collectively accept greater responsibility for our own safety by becoming custodians and champions for safety on the road.
"If we all redouble our efforts in 2014, there is no reason why we can't make Ireland's roads the safest in the world."
The European Transport Safety Council's eighth Road Safety Performance Index report says that Ireland, Sweden, Norway and the UK have the lowest death rates across Europe, which is based on the number of journeys taken.
But it has expressed concern about an increase in fatal collisions, saying the cost of each runs to €1.91m per fatality, and that countries should "take into account" the financial savings that would accrue if deaths were reduced.
Ireland's fourth road safety strategy aims to reduce road deaths to 124 or fewer per year by the end of 2020.