Monday 5 December 2016

Seatbelts and mobile phones will be focus in bid to save more lives

Published 02/01/2016 | 02:30

Strategy will target use of mobile phones while driving. (Stock Photo)
Strategy will target use of mobile phones while driving. (Stock Photo)

Seatbelts and mobile phones will be a key focus as road safety campaigners drive forward their message during the coming year.

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The Government road safety strategy aims to reduce road casualties to 25 deaths per million population within the next five years.

This works out here at an annual total of 124 or fewer deaths, an average of 10.3 deaths per month.

Garda targets are set at trying to achieve 10 fewer deaths each year from 2013 to 2020, resulting in fewer than 100 fatalities by the deadline.

The head of the Garda National Traffic Bureau, Chief Supt Mark Curran told the Irish Independent that their campaign to improve road user behaviour will focus particularly on the failure to wear seatbelts.

He pointed out that 30pc of drivers and vehicle occupants were not wearing the belts at present - if this attitude could be changed, the death toll could drop further.

Gardaí will also highlight the dangers posed to drivers by distractions, including the use of mobile phones when behind the wheel.

An analysis by the Road Safety Authority of road fatalities for the first 10 months of 2015 showed there were more deaths among the 16-25 and 56-65 categories, compared to the same period in 2014.

But there were fewer deaths in all other age groups, particularly among children of 15 years and younger.

The largest decrease was among drivers aged 66 years or over.

Meanwhile, the number of learner drivers involved in fatal collisions fell by 75pc over the past 10 years.

The majority of driver fatalities occurred on higher speed roads, while half of them resulted from single vehicle collisions.

Most pedestrian fatalities occurred in hours of darkness, with two-thirds of them in areas with poor or no lighting, while 72pc of victims had not taken any high visibility precautions.

The analysis also showed that Sundays were the worst day for road fatalities in 2015.

Irish Independent

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