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Statistics useless to dead road users

GAY BYRNE, chairman of the Road Safety Authority (RSA), wrote: “Hats off to road users of 2010 – You saved lives” (Irish Independent, January 1).

We must not forget that we had two months of inclement weather in 2010, when there was little traffic on the roads.

Long stretches of motorway were open during the year, which eliminated head-on collisions. When death occurs on the road at a race meeting where a road is closed; a person dies over one year after the accident; car occupants die after cars enter water at piers; drivers have heart attacks or appear to have committed suicide – such accidents are no longer recorded as fatal road traffic accidents.

Until the end of May, 2010, there were 24 fewer fatalities when compared with the same period in 2009.

In the following seven months, there were two fewer fatalities in the Republic when compared with the same period last year.

But why do we compare statistics with previous years when drunken driving was acceptable, cars had cable brakes, driving tuition was unregulated and we had few motorways?

With practice, we can all improve with the statistics. Hats back on again – we killed more than 212 road users last year.

Frank Cullinane
Glasnevin Park, Dublin 11