Number of road deaths up 4% in 2019
More people died on Irish roads in 2019 than in 2018, the Road Safety Authority has revealed.
The number of road deaths for the past 12 months was 148 which represents a 4% increase on the year before when 142 people lost their lives in crashes.
The year before last, 2018, was the safest on Irish roads since records began.
The RSA say there was a “worrying” increase in the number of drivers who died on Irish roads this past year (25 more than 2018), however on a positive note pedestrian and passenger fatalities have fallen over the same period.
“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,” RSA Chairperson Liz O’Donnell said.
“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. 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. Deeper collaboration between all agencies responsible for road safety is already taking place to ensure everything that can be done is being done, not only to reverse the increase in deaths this year, but to achieve the strategy target. And it is a target that is very achievable.
“Put simply it means saving two more lives a month, every month next year. Something we should all work together to do in 2020.”
Moya Murdock (CEO) said that in 2020 the RSA and An Garda Síochána would be targeting the “main killer behaviours”.
“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 added that a new mobility app is set to be rolled out with in excess of 4,000 devices making their way into the gands of gardaí in 2020.
Gardaí say that the new mobility app will revolutionise the way roads policing is carried out in Ireland and this along with additional front-line resources will help reverse this year’s unwanted increase in road deaths.
Stay safe out there,
The Team at GMIB.ie
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