Number of deaths on Irish roads up 3pc on 2017
The number of deaths on Irish roads has increased by 3pc on 2017's figure - some 78 people have died in 73 collisions in the first six months of 2018.
The figures were contained in a provisional review of road fatalities for the first half of 2018, published today by the Road Safety Authority (RSA) and gardai.
Transport minister Shane Ross said the results are disappointing.
“The statistics revealed today are disappointing. After seeing a reduction of 11% in the first half of 2017, that positive trend has been reversed in 2018. It shows the absolute need for ongoing vigilance by road users, a greater level of visible Garda presence on our roads and robust traffic legislation on our statute books," he said.
The RSA have warned that if the current trend continues, up to 78 more people could die before the end of 2018.
The review showed that road deaths have increased by two when compared to figures for the same period last year.
Up until June 30th, some 39 drivers, 12 passengers, 18 pedestrians, three motorcyclists and six cyclists have lost their lives on Irish roads this year.
April and June were the worst months for road fatalities, with 17 deaths recorded in each month.
More than half of the fatal collisions occurred between Friday to Sunday, and the highest number of deaths occurred in Cork (11), followed by Tipperary (7) and Dublin (6).
Minister Ross says the Road Traffic Bill passed on Friday of last week is aimed at a small number of drivers who continue to engage in "risky behaviour".
“I welcome the passage of the Road Traffic (Amendment) Bill 2017 through the Dáil. This is a critical piece of legislation aimed at that small cohort of drivers who continue to engage in risky behaviour. I would like to thank everyone who has supported the legislation to date and I would urge our public representatives to ensure this bill continues to move forward.”
Moyagh Murdock, the CEO of the RSA, said simple changes in behaviour can help save lives.
“These statistics show that it’s the behaviour of road users on rural roads, our local roads which poses the greatest danger to people. Simple changes in behaviour can help to save lives. Wearing high visibility clothing when walking or cycling, particularly in the hours of darkness, is essential to be being seen on our roads.
"In addition, I would urge all drivers and passengers to make sure that buckling their seatbelt is the first thing they do before setting off on a journey. Sadly we continue to see fatalities where a vehicle occupant was not wearing a seatbelt and therefore had no protection in a collision.”
Chief Superintendent Finbarr Murphy, Garda National Roads Policing Bureau, said: “I appeal to the public to act responsibly and practice good road safety habits. In particular, I would remind people of the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
"It is no longer acceptable in society to drink or take drugs and drive at any time of the year. No one has the right to put other people’s safety and lives in danger through their selfish actions. The members of the Roads Policing Unit will continue over the second half of 2018 to target high-risk drivers in order to make the roads safer for all.”
The Review of Fatal Collisions from 1 January to 30 June 2018 found that:
- Road deaths have increased by 3% when compared to figures for the same period last year
- Up to 30 June 2018, 39 drivers, 12 passengers, 18 pedestrians, 3 motorcyclists and 6 pedal cyclists have been killed on Irish roads
- The highest number of fatalities among all road users occurred in Cork (11) followed by Tipperary (7) and Dublin (6)
- There has been a reduction in motorcyclist fatalities with 70% less deaths than for the same period last year
- The highest risk age group of drivers killed was 66 years and older
- Half of fatalities happened from Friday to Sunday
- There were 17 fatalities between midnight and 6am (22%). The majority of these (11) occurred on Saturday and Sunday morning.
- As of Monday 9 July, 83 people have been killed on Ireland’s roads, three more than the same period last year.