Tuesday 30 May 2017

Don't let the Treacys' tragic loss be in vain

Ronan and Gillian Treacy (pictured) lost their son Ciaran after a drunk driver collided head-on with Gillian’s car – Gillian’s powerful victim impact statement has provoked much-needed debate about our laws and society’s attitude to drink driving.
Ronan and Gillian Treacy (pictured) lost their son Ciaran after a drunk driver collided head-on with Gillian’s car – Gillian’s powerful victim impact statement has provoked much-needed debate about our laws and society’s attitude to drink driving.
Liz O'Donnell

Liz O'Donnell

As chair of the Road Safety Authority, I deal a lot with statistics. Sadly, the only way we can measure the success of our road safety initiatives is by the number of deaths per year on the roads. We benchmark ourselves by reference to these fatality figures each year and measure our performance against the numbers of deaths in other countries. I receive an email each day of road traffic fatalities; a chilling reminder of the toll of death and serious injury on our roads. This ensures that those of us charged with road safety do not become complacent.

At the time of writing, the number of deaths on the road so far this year is 129, a figure that's down on last year. While encouraging, this figure cannot be a cause of celebration.

Each individual death is a calamity to a family and a community. Every now and then, a person or a family breaks through the fog of statistics. An example was the powerful victim impact statement of the Treacy family this week at the trial of a driver whose dangerous and drunk driving caused the death of their precious child, Ciaran, last year.

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