Road deaths go up in 2019 as five killed in Galway

Road deaths go up in 2019 as five killed in Galway

The Road Safety Authority is concerned about an increase in road deaths this year, with five people killed in Galway alone.

According to the RSA road deaths have increased by 7% this year, with 89 people killed on Irish roads up to July 28 in 80 different collisions.

The most dangerous day to be on the roads is Sunday according to the gathered data, and four in five deaths occur on rural roads.

The worst county so far this year has been Dublin with nine deaths, followed by Tipperary (8), Cork (7), Limerick (6), Kerry (6), and Galway, Donegal, and Wexford each had five road deaths.

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross noted that this year Ireland was awarded the European Transport Safety Council Road Safety Pin Award in recognition of efforts made to reduce road deaths.

He added that Ireland has now been recognised as the second safest European Union Member State in 2018.

However, the Minister warned that “the progress we have made over many years is not guaranteed.”

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

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

Figures for the same period in 2018 showed 83 fatalities resulting from 78 collisions on the road.

The people most at risk of dying in a collision are those aged 66 and over, with that age group accounting for 23 fatalities this year.

This same demographic also accounted for 31% of all drivers killed in a collision, twice as much as any other age group.

Ms. Moyagh Murdock, CEO of the RSA said that thse figures are highly alarming, noting “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,” she added.

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

Assistant Commissioner David Sheahan of the Garda National Roads Policing Bureau said “While Garda enforcement is up, the figures being presented today demonstrate 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.”

“The members of the Roads Policing Unit will continue over the second half of 2019 to target non-compliant drivers, particularly key Lifesaver Offences, in order to make the roads safer for all.”

The Garda Commissioner added that this year incidents recorded of speeding are up 48%, non-wearing of seatbelts up 27%, driver distraction offences (mobile phones) up 11%, and Driving Under the Influence of an Intoxicant up by 8%.

The one positive trend noted in this report is that the number of deaths among pedestrians, cyclists, and vehicle passengers have all decreased this year, even as the overall number of deaths has gone up.

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