Saturday 3 December 2016

Revealed: Ireland’s worrying new road death figures ahead of Bank Holiday weekend

Published 26/07/2016 | 11:09

There were ten more deaths on Irish roads this year than last.
There were ten more deaths on Irish roads this year than last.

The number of people killed on Irish roads has risen from this time last year, the Road Safety Authority reports.

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New death figures reveal that 98 people have lost their lives so far this year in road accidents.

“It’s an increase of 10 deaths from this time last year,” said Annette McNamara at the Road Safety Authority.

The RSA has predicted that if the current trend continues, up to 80 more people could die before the end of the year.

Commenting on the review, Liz O’Donnell, Chairman, RSA said:  “Unfortunately, our review shows that road fatalities have increased this year.

"The increases are particularly evident among drivers, passengers and older road-users. If the current trend continues, we stand to lose almost 80 people in preventable and unnecessary road collisions.

“Complacency is our biggest challenge over the next six months. We need to get the basics right every single time we use the roads.," she continued.

"This means not driving impaired, not speeding, wearing our seatbelts, making sure we’re visible to other road-users and avoiding distraction and fatigue.

"We need to take personal responsibility and not take unnecessary risks that put ourselves - or others - in danger. By sharing the road safely together, we can all play a role in saving lives.”

Earlier this week, a community in Galway was left in mourning after the death of a young mum and her teenage son on the road.

The young woman, who was in her 30s, was killed alongside her 14-year-old son when the car they were travelling in hit a tree at around 9.45pm on Sunday night in Ballygar.

A woman in her 50s also died following a road accident in Sligo on Sunday afternoon.

The woman, who was a passenger on a motorcycle, was seriously injured when it collided with a car on the N16 (Sligo to Manorhamilton road) near Drumkinsellagh, Co Sligo.

She was pronounced dead at the scene a short time later.

Ahead of the August Bank Holiday weekend the RSA and gardai are urging people to be more careful on roads in the hope of preventing more road deaths.

Chief Superintendent Aidan Reid, An Garda Síochána said: “We appeal to the public to be responsible in relation to drinking and driving, especially coming into the August bank holiday period.

"Never, ever drink and drive. Never take a lift off someone who has been drinking and make every effort to dissuade that drink driver from driving - if necessary contact the Gardaí.

"You could be saving a life, yours, theirs or someone else’s.”

Between 2011 and 2015, 11 people were killed and 34 people were seriously injured over the August Bank Holiday period.

This weekend, the RSA is teaming up with Applegreen to provide free cups of coffee to help drivers to combat tiredness behind the wheel.

Simply mention ‘RSA’ to the till operator at any Applegreen Service Station nationwide to avail of a free coffee.

Moyagh Murdock, Chief Executive, RSA said: “Bank holiday weekends are a high-risk period for all road-users, especially drivers, as there are more people on the roads travelling longer distances.

"So there is an even greater need for attention behind the wheel and a sense of shared responsibility when using the roads.”

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