RSA figures show rise in road deaths and fall in pedestrian deaths for 2019

RSA figures show rise in road deaths and fall in pedestrian deaths for 2019

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) has reported that road deaths for 2019 increased from last year.

Their figures show that 148 people lost their lives in 2019, compared to 142 in 2018, a 4% rise.

The RSA said 2018 was the safest recorded year on Irish roads.

Casualty figures for 2019 also show a sharp drop in pedestrian deaths, down 15 or 36%, and passenger deaths, down four or 20%.

However, there was a rise in the number of drivers killed, up 25 or 45%, compared to 2018.

While there was one more motorcyclist death recorded in 2019 compared to 2018 - 16 versus 15 - overall vulnerable road user (VRU) fatalities were down by 23%.

Their statistics are correct up to 1pm yesterday.

Liz O’Donnell, Chairperson of the RSA, said: “After recording the safest year on our roads in 2018 it is deeply saddening that not only have we lost 148 lives on the road in 2019, but that it represents an increase in road deaths.

"We must respond to this increase the same way we have responded to previous setbacks. Rather than being disheartened it should spur us and our road safety partners into renewed effort.

RSA figures show rise in road deaths and fall in pedestrian deaths for 2019

"2020 is also the final year of the Government’s eight year road safety strategy. Its primary target is to reduce deaths to 124 or fewer by the end of 2020.

Put simply it means saving two more lives a month, every month next year. Something we should all work together to do in 2020.

Ms. Moyagh Murdock, CEO of the Road Safety Authority, said the organisation will target the main killer behaviours next year.

Ms Moynihan said: "In particular we will prioritise the non- wearing of seatbelts and intoxicated driving through alcohol or drugs.

"We will also focus on promoting the safety of vulnerable road users. Specifically by raising awareness of the new safe overtaking of cyclists law, focusing on motorcycle safety and commissioning a new pedestrian safety campaign.

“Another priority area for us in 2020 is learner drivers. We will continue to support garda enforcement of unaccompanied driving laws.

In 2019 there were over 2,500 vehicles seized that were being driven by unaccompanied learner drivers. We will continue to target those who have been relying long-term on a learner permit.

Driving test waiting times have never been lower with average waiting times of less than six weeks. Furthermore, we are hopeful that the package of measures, designed to end such practice and which are currently with the Department of Transport Tourism and Sport, will be introduced in 2020.”

Assistant Garda Commissioner Dave Sheehan said gardaí will prioritise roads policing in 2020 with two significant developments.

He said: "Firstly, an additional 180 gardaí have been selected to be assigned to roads policing duties in early 2020.

"Secondly, the roll out of the new mobility app will be stepped up so that by the end of 2020 there will be in excess of 4,000 devices in the hands of front line gardaí.

:The new mobility app will revolutionise the way roads policing is carried out in this country.”

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