Policing and hard-hitting ads see 30 fewer traffic deaths
Ireland is set to achieve a dramatic 16pc reduction in the number of people killed in road accidents, with 2017 poised to return one of the lowest traffic fatality figures for more than a decade.
With just four days before the new year, Ireland has recorded 156 road traffic fatalities this year - which is a decline on the 186 recorded in 2016.
The 2017 figure is almost 20pc below the 193 deaths recorded on Irish roads in 2014, one of the deadliest years for road traffic accidents ever recorded.
Possible reasons for the decline have varied from more targeted policing by the Garda Traffic Corps to new, hard-hitting road safety adverts.
Others have credited greater road safety awareness among young people, including successful new school campaigns.
Road safety campaigners, including Parc, said a tougher penalty points regime and tightened legislation on issues ranging from drink driving to learner drivers are also factors in the decline in the number of deaths.
Fatal accident figures have fluctuated over recent years with 162 in 2012; 188 in 2013; 193 in 2014; 165 in 2015; 186 in 2016; and 156 to date this year.
Transport Minister Shane Ross echoed the Garda and Road Safety Authority (RSA) campaigns and urged motorists to drive with care, to slow down and to adhere to all road safety guidelines.
"It is a law of physics that the faster you drive, the more likely you are to be involved in a collision and the more likely the outcome will result in death or injury," Mr Ross said.
"Even speeds a driver considers low can be lethal for vulnerable road users."