Figures released by An Garda Síochána show that Co Wexford recorded the highest amount of road deaths in the South East region for 2019.
The provisional review of fatal collisions released last week covers a period from January 1 to December 31 of 2019 and shows that a total of seven lives were lost on Wexford's roads throughout the year.
This figure represents more than double the amount of road deaths in Wicklow (3), Carlow (3) and Waterford (3), while neighbouring Kilkenny saw just one fatality less for the year with six. While a possible reason for Wexford's larger number is the fact that it has a larger road network than neighbouring counties, even one death on our county's roads is one too many and gardaí will be keen to see a reduction in the figures in 2020.
Predictably, owing to population etc, Dublin (19) and Cork (16) saw the highest amount of road fatalities, while 13 people lost their lives on Tipperary's roads and 9 in Limerick. While Donegal suffers from a negative reputation for road accidents, it recorded just one more road death than Wexford last year with 8.
Nationally, there were 137 fatal collisions on our roads which resulted in 148 deaths. This represents two more collisions when compared to 2018 and six more deaths.
On a positive note, there has been a decrease in the number of passenger (-4), pedestrian (-15) and cyclist (-1) fatalities when compared to 2018, but worryingly there was an increase of 25 in driver fatalities and an increase of one in motorcyclist deaths.
There was a decrease in fatal collisions during the summer, with July and August seeing the lowest number of road deaths nationally. Conversely, September and December saw the highest number of deaths with 20 and 16 respectively.
Commenting on the figures, Minister for Transport Shane Ross said: 'While families and friends grieve the loss of their loved one, we must respond with deeds, to prevent it happening to others. This means continuing to implement life saving measures contained in the Road Safety Strategy. It also means individually that we need to take greater responsibility for our actions on the road.'