Speeding convictions double but road deaths here at an all-time low
Road deaths in Ireland are at an all-time low with 2011 on course to having the least amount of fatalities.
According to new Garda statistics, 132 people have lost their lives on the nation’s roads so far this year.
By comparison, 152 fatalities were reported for the same period in 2010, a year which saw the least number of road deaths since records began.
Road fatalities have been dropping sharply since the 1990s with the introduction of the penalty-points system, new drink-driving legislation and the building of new roads being attributed to the decline.
In spite of the falling rates of traffic related deaths, reports of speeding have seen a stark rise.
Convictions for speeding have almost doubled with over 96,000 people receiving points on their licences in the first four months of 2011, an average of 24,000 per month.
In 2010 and 2009 there was an average of 13,000 and 14,400 convictions per month respectively.
The increase follows the introduction of more than 600 privately operated speed cameras throughout Ireland.
The new Go Safe campaign saw speed cameras offer an additional 6,000 hours of traffic monitoring per month in more than 600 locations.
Donegal Fine Gael TD Joe McHugh welcomed the increase but questioned the location of some of the locations of the new speed cameras.
“There is genuine concern about the locations of some of the speed vans, especially those at the entrance to lower speed zones,” he said.
“There has been a few at entrances of towns and villages that are causing consternation.”
Elsewhere, incidents of driving while intoxicated have dropped in the past few years with an average of 902 incidents per month reported by Gardai for this year.
In 2010, there was an average of 1,000 people caught drink driving per month whilst in 2009, that figure was 1,230.
The deadliest year on Irish roads was 1972, where 640 people lost their lives; an average of 53 deaths per month as opposed to this year’s average of 15 deaths per month.