Ireland fails to meet EU road safety targets

IRELAND is still in the top third of EU countries for road deaths, with little or no change over the past year, according to a survey of traffic safety.

The aim to halve the number of fatalities by 2010, compared with what they were in 2000, will be almost impossible for Ireland to meet now, the report warns.

Last year, about 39,200 people were killed on EU roads. But 5,000 of these would still be alive if Europe was meeting its targets to reduce road deaths, according to the European Transport Safety Council.

In terms of the number of deaths on our roads per head of population Ireland is 18th with about 80 per million population.

There was a very slight reduction in fatal road accidents in Ireland last year but this was probably not due to any of the campaigns and other actions taken by the Government. Instead the report said the cut was probably down to chance.

Ireland managed to reduce road deaths by just 10% in the five years from 2001 to 2006 and will find it almost impossible to achieve the goal of a 50% reduction in the next four years, the report said.

Only three countries are likely to achieve the 50% target — France, Luxemburg and Portugal. They have reduced their road deaths by over 8% annually.

Luxembourg and France both record fewer deaths per head of population than Ireland, while Portugal registers more.

Lithuania, Hungary and Estonia have seen the number of deaths on their roads increase over the five years to 2006 and there was only a slight reduction in Poland, Slovenia and Slovakia.

The key to success among the best performing countries was their unrelenting struggle against major road offences including drink driving, speeding and non-use of seat belts together with their investments in infrastructure.

For instance the legal blood/alcohol limit was reduced and penalties were increased in Luxembourg, Switzerland and Cyprus. Automatic speed control cameras in France reduced the number of speed-related accidents while Portugal applies the law more strictly and has transferred high speed traffic from rural roads to newly built motorways.

More in this section

Price info
Price info

Subscribe to unlock unlimited digital access.
Cancel anytime.

Terms and conditions apply


Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox


Saturday, October 16, 2021

  • 1
  • 7
  • 20
  • 21
  • 24
  • 44
  • 19

Full Lotto draw results »