Up to 100 more will die on Irish roads if drivers don't change behaviour - RSA chief
As many as 100 more people will die on the roads before the end of the year unless drivers change their behaviour.
New figures show that 92 people have died between January and July this year, a drop of 21 on the same period of 2014, but that non-seatbelt wearing is a major source of concern.
A provisional review of road fatalities for the first seven months of the year shows that 87 collisions have occurred.
More than one in three drivers killed, and one in four passengers, were not wearing a seatbelt.
“Should our record continue as per July with 20 deaths per month, as many as 100 more people could lose their lives by year end,” RSA chief executive Moyagh Murdock said.
“This simply must not be allowed to happen. We all need to be vigilant about our behaviour on the roads, and take greater responsibility for our actions. Don’t spend a lifetime regretting one bad decision.
“Of particular concern is the fact that of the 41 drivers and 16 passengers killed to date in 2015, 15 drivers and four passengers killed were reported as not wearing their seatbelt.”
The review of fatalities from January to July 2015 finds:
· Road deaths have declined by 19pc compared to last year (92 compared to 113) with reductions in all road-user groups
· Up to July 31, 41 drivers, 16 passengers, 18 pedestrians, 12 motorcyclists and five cyclists have been killed.
· The sharpest drop is among road users aged 15 or younger, which fell 11, followed by vehicle passengers which dropped by nine.
· Non-wearing of high visibility material is a concern for pedestrians
· The highest number of driver fatalities was recorded in Cork, where six died.
· While April had the lowest number of monthly fatalities since November 2012 with eight fatalities, July was the most dangerous month, with 20 lives lost.
Commenting on the review, Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe said that while any reduction in fatalities was welcomed, “we cannot and must not become complacent”.
“If I could ask just one thing of everyone, it is that every time you use the roads, you treat other road-users with respect and consideration. By sharing the road safely together, we can all play a role in saving lives,” he said.
Superintendent Con O’Donoghue from the Garda National Traffic Bureau added that bad decisions cost lives, and that road users needed to realise that when they took risks like speeding, drink or drug driving, not wearing a seatbelt or proper personal safety gear, they were putting their lives and others at risk.
As of this morning, 101 people have died on the roads – nine in August alone. This compares with 123 in the same period of 2014.