An Garda Síochána and the Road Safety Authority have published their initial review of fatalities on Irish roads for the first seven months of this year. The review shows a noticeable improvement from last year’s statistics, but still an alarming amount of deaths on the road. From January to July of this year, some 92 people died as a result of 87 collisions, a drop of 21 fatalities and 17 collisions from the numbers recorded for the same period last year. Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Paschal Donohoe appealed to road users to treat their fellow passengers with respect: “By sharing the road safely together, we can all play a role in saving lives.”
Speaking about the results of the review, RSA Chief Executive Moyagh Murdock commented: “Overall, January to June 2015 was a safer period on our roads compared to the same period in 2014. However, should our record continue as per July with 20 deaths per month, as many as 100 more people could lose their lives by year end.
And this simply must not be allowed to happen. We all need to be vigilant about our behaviour on the roads, and take greater responsibility for our actions. So every time you think about taking a risk on the roads, remember that you have no idea who or what is up ahead or around the corner. Don’t spend a lifetime regretting one bad decision.”
The review of fatalities from January to July 2015 found that:
•Road deaths have declined by 19% compared to last year (92 compared to 113) with reductions in all road-user groups
•Up to 31 July 2015, 41 drivers, 16 passengers, 18 pedestrians, 12 motorcyclists and 5 cyclists have been killed on Irish roads.
•Reductions in road deaths were most evident in road-users aged 15 years or younger (down 11 in 2015), vehicle occupants (down 9 in 2015) and Vulnerable Road Users
•Younger and older drivers continue to remain a high risk group
•Non-wearing of seatbelts is a concern for both drivers and passengers
•Non-wearing of high visibility material is a concern for pedestrians
•The highest number of driver fatalities was recorded in Cork (6)
•Dublin recorded the highest number of Vulnerable Road User fatalities with 7 lives lost between January and July.
•Sunday was the worst day for fatalities to date this year, compared to mid-week in 2014.
•This year, more fatalities have occurred in the afternoon and evening (from 4pm to 10pm) than any other time period.
•April had the lowest number of monthly fatalities since November 2012 with 8 fatalities. However, July was the most dangerous month, with 20 lives lost.
The report shows that fatalities among vulnerable road-user groups have reduced, with the most notable decrease among pedestrians (down from 23 to 18). Where information was available, 10 of 12 pedestrians killed were recorded as not wearing any high visibility material.
There were four fewer pedal cyclists and three fewer motorcyclist fatalities to date in 2015 when compared to 2014. All of the cyclists killed to date were aged between 55 and 75. In terms of motorcyclist fatalities, in 7 of the 12 collisions, overtaking, loss of control and another vehicle making an unexpected manoeuvre were cited as situational factors.
Superintendent Con O’Donohue, Garda National Traffic Bureau, An Garda Síochána said:
“Bad decisions and taking risks on the roads cost lives. It’s about personal responsibility and road users need to realise that when you take risks on the road like speeding, drink or drug driving, not wearing a seatbelt or proper personal safety gear, you are putting your life and the lives of others at stake. So make sensible choices every time you use the roads – or the consequences could be tragic.”
The RSA and An Garda Síochána are appealing to road-users to:
•Reduce speed, always a wear safety belt, watch out for other road users
•Ensure passengers always wear their safety belt and never distract the driver
•Never use your phone while driving
•If you’re feeling tired, Stop, Sip and Sleep
•Pedestrians, make yourself visible and always take care crossing the road
•Cyclists, be seen, obey rules of the road and take great care around large vehicles
•Motorcyclists, be seen, wear appropriate PPE (Personal Protection Equipment ) and slow down
•Parents/guardians, make road safety a priority in your ‘Back to School’ preparations.