Sunday 25 June 2017

Road habits have changed utterly

New laws brought in just two years ago have had a dramatic impact, and fatalities are now at an all-time low, says Jim Cusack

In the early hours of last Sunday morning 63-year-old Michael O'Callaghan was knocked down as he walked home from an evening socialising in Elphin, Co Roscommon. He had attended the All-Ireland under-21 football match between Roscommon and Dublin on Saturday evening at Breffni Park in Cavan. Mr O'Callaghan, a former school teacher who later became a publican and then a financial consultant, was married with five grown children. He lived only a few hundred yards outside Elphin where he and his family were well known.

Mr O'Callaghan was struck by a car not far from his home. Gardai say the driver of the car, a local man who is a non-drinker, was blameless and was deeply shocked.

The majority of deaths, more than 70 per cent, are still on rural roads but the 'traditional' fatal road accident where a drunk driver kills him or herself and others after a night in the pub is a greatly declining phenomenon. In fact, gardai are noticing a slight rise in accidents where pedestrians walking home from pubs in country towns are victims of accidents, as apparently happened in the case of Mr O'Callaghan in Elphin.

Please sign in or register with Independent.ie for free access to Opinions.

Sign In

Don't Miss