Motorists urged to slow down as figures show 7% increase in road deaths

Motorists urged to slow down as figures show 7% increase in road deaths

Fears have been raised that progress made on improving road safety has stalled after new figures showed a 7% increase in road deaths this year.

Eighty-nine people died on Irish roads between January and July 28, six more than in the same period last year, according to statistics released by the Road Safety Authority (RSA) and the Garda on Thursday.

RSA chief executive Moyagh Murdock described the figures as “alarming”.

“Clearly, the progress we have made in road safety over the last two years is at risk of stalling,” she said.

The figures were published ahead of the August bank holiday weekend.

They showed that 49 drivers, 10 passengers, 15 pedestrians, nine motorcyclists and six pedal cyclists were killed in the first seven months of the year.

The review found the majority of road deaths occur in rural areas, with Sunday being the most dangerous day on the road.

Most of the deaths occurred in Dublin, Tipperary and Cork, and there were none in Cavan or Longford.

Ms Murdock added: “The vast majority of deaths and injuries on our roads are preventable. If we want to prevent any more tragedies on our roads, we need to focus our attention on where the greatest risk is. The review presented today shows that this is at weekends, and particularly on a Sunday.

“We are asking road users to take greater care at these times and we want to see more targeted enforcement by An Garda Siochana at weekends if we are to reverse this worrying increase in 2019.”

Transport Minister Shane Ross said the figures showed that progress on road safety was not guaranteed.

“We need to be constantly vigilant and continue to focus on reducing risky behaviours on our roads,” he said.

“Without the work of many stakeholders, we will see a reversal of our positive trajectory and we cannot allow that to happen.”

RSA chairwoman Liz O’Donnell said: “Looking to the rest of the year, it is vital that we don’t lose focus on the need for greater enforcement to tackle the main killer behaviours on the road.

“Key to this is the appropriate resourcing and investment in the roads policing unit.”

Assistant Commissioner David Sheahan, of the Garda National Roads Policing Bureau, said enforcement was up but the figures demonstrated that “driver behaviour has still some way to go for Ireland to achieve its objectives”.

“We are urging motorists to slow down, be aware of speed limits, to drive at a speed appropriate to the road conditions, and never, ever drive while under the influence of an intoxicant,” he said.

Alcohol remained the most frequently detected intoxicant in driving, followed by cannabis, cocaine, and benzodiazepines.

Many of the drivers issued with a positive drug result certificate were also driving with alcohol in their system.- Press Association

More on this topic

286 drivers caught speeding during National Slow Down Day286 drivers caught speeding during National Slow Down Day

'Check your tyres' - RSA reveal defective tyres responsible for 14 road deaths a year'Check your tyres' - RSA reveal defective tyres responsible for 14 road deaths a year

New data reveals Ireland's most dangerous stretches of road New data reveals Ireland's most dangerous stretches of road

Over 40,000 drivers on their fourth or more learner permitOver 40,000 drivers on their fourth or more learner permit


More in this Section

Justice Minister admits voting for a colleague in Dáil chamber 'from time to time'Justice Minister admits voting for a colleague in Dáil chamber 'from time to time'

Tusla whistleblower distressed after his complaintTusla whistleblower distressed after his complaint

'More deaths' unless Cold Weather Initiative for homeless activated, charity warns'More deaths' unless Cold Weather Initiative for homeless activated, charity warns

Motorcyclist, 30s, killed after collision with parked car in Co TipperaryMotorcyclist, 30s, killed after collision with parked car in Co Tipperary


Lifestyle

Carol O’Callaghan continues her round-up of home interior shops in country towns and the outer reaches of our cities, finding more treasure troves which offer something new and a touch of exclusivityMade in Munster: The best interior shops in country towns

When the Irish Examiner broke the news that an ultra-inquisitive deer photobombed newlyweds at Killarney’s Ladies View the story went viral.Wedding of the Week: Time for Australian celebrations for bride and groom photobombed by deer

At the start of the 10th and final episode of Confronting: OJ Simpson, a series which has been downloaded over five million times since launching in June, host Kim Goldman is in tears, talking to her father about how strong he was through the murder of her brother, his son,Ron Goldman.Podcast Corner: Host relives brother’s death in famous case

Thomas McCarthy pays tribute to his late friend — poet and journalist Seán Dunne'Seán Dunne was one of the most loved people I ever knew'

More From The Irish Examiner