'The most dangerous thing you will do' - number of road fatalities jumps in 2016
Published 07/09/2016 | 16:41
The number of fatalities on Irish roads has increased by 18pc this year compared with the same period in 2015.
Recent tragic deaths have brought to 125 the number of people who have died as a result of traffic collisions so far this year.
"There have been 125 deaths on our roads compared to 106 in the same period in 2015," an RSA spokesperson told independent.ie.
"It is too early to say what is causing the rise in the deaths. However, we have noticed a marked increase (+27pc) in the number of vehicle occupant deaths."
Figures from the Road Safety Authority indicate that, however, that there has been "an overall slight decline in vulnerable road user deaths".
However, following the death of cyclist Donna Fox, who was hit by a truck in Dublin's city centre yesterday, concerns are growing over road safety as her death brings to nine the number of cyclists killed on the roads so far this year.
Furthermore, the fatality brings to six the number of people who have died on our roads in the first six days of this month.
"It's not a good year so far - even one death is too many," the AA's Conor Faughnan told independent.ie .
"But it is important to remember that, at the turn of the century, our millenium goals were to reduce an annual figure of around 450 road deaths.
"In years gone by, breath tests, speed cameras, penalty points and the traffic corps - all these would not have existed before we started lobbying for them. Now people just accept them as normal."
According to Mr Faughnan, though, the AA's concern is that road safety has fallen lower on the priority list for the Government.
"The total number of gardai on the Garda Traffic Corps started to diminish in recent years. It was believed the battle was won as regards road safety," he said.
"They are in the process of correcting that but it will take time. Strengthening the GTC is one of THE most important measures you can take."
The spokesperson for the RSA has advised road users to be extra vigilant as using the roads is "the most dangerous thing you will do".
"The faster you are travelling the less time you will have to react if needed. If you are out socialising please plan how you will get home.
"We thought drink driving was a thing of the past but according to our Pre Crash Report on alcohol as a factor in fatal collisions from 2008 to 2012 it is still a road safety issue."