Most believe behaviour on Irish roads is getting worse, survey says

A majority of motorists believe that driver behaviour in Ireland has worsened in recent years, according to recent research from AA Ireland.

In response to a survey of over 4,000 Irish motorists undertaken by AA Car Insurance, 31.2% of respondents strongly agreed that motorist behaviour had worsened in the last few years.

A further 35.21% of those surveyed partially agreed that this was the case, with just 2.9% of respondents strongly disagreeing with the claim that driver behaviour had worsened.

“In recent years we have seen traffic levels return to Celtic Tiger levels and one unfortunate consequence of that does appear to have been that more motorists are experiencing incidents of bad behaviour on the part of other drivers," said Conor Faughnan, AA Director of Consumer Affairs.

"In many ways, higher traffic volumes and increased road rage incidents tend to go hand in hand but there’s certainly no excuse for poor behaviour on our roads, not only is it inconsiderate but it can be dangerous and increase the risk of an incident.

“In order to keep our roads safe, it’s important that we remain patient even when stuck in significant traffic jams and respect the rights of all road users, from other motorists to vulnerable road users such as cyclists or pedestrians.”

Worryingly, the AA survey also found that fewer than 1 in 12 motorists strongly agree that the Government is taking necessary action to improve road safety.

Just 7.66% of respondents stated that they strongly agreed that the Government was treating road safety as a priority.

Meanwhile, a further 37.19% somewhat agreed that Government was prioritising road safety, with almost a third of respondents partially or strongly disagreeing that the government was making adequate efforts to keep roads safe.

“We’ve made a lot of progress in tackling roads deaths and serious incidents in the last decade, but there is still a lot of work to be done,” Faughnan added

“It’s important that government don’t become satisfied with the improvements made in recent years and turn their attention away from this area.

“In fact, a priority for government must be to reverse the cuts to the Garda Traffic Corps and to ensure its continued growth over the next few years to ensure we don’t slide backwards in terms of road safety

“The cuts to the Traffic Corps in recent years have greatly impacted on Garda ability to police our roads effectively and this needs to be rectified.

“The planned increases in strength for 2018 are a good start, but we need to continue this into 2019 and beyond.”

- Digital desk

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