Number of people who died on Irish roads up 4% in 2019

by Dublin Gazette
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Deaths on Irish roads rose by 4% in 2019, according to provisional statistics from the Road Safety Authority (RSA), with 148 people losing their lives in collisions on our roads.

Up to 1pm on December 31, a total of 148 people died on Ireland’s roads as a result of 137 fatal crashes, compared to 142 lives lost in 135 fatal crashes in 2018.

The figures were published by the RSA following an analysis of provisional fatal collision reports by An Garda Siochana.

Casualty figures for 2019 show that while there was a sharp drop in pedestrian deaths (down 36%), and passenger deaths (down 20%), there was a worrying increase in the number of drivers killed, with a 45% increase compared to 2018.

Commenting on the figures, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross, said: “Firstly, I want to express my deepest condolences to the families of those who have died on Ireland’s roads in 2019, and not forgetting the many hundreds who have suffered serious injury.

“The only way to respond to these needless deaths and injuries on our roads is through action, not words.

“While families and friends grieve the loss of their loved one, we must as a society all respond with deeds, to prevent it happening to others.

“This means the Government and its agencies continuing to implement life-saving measures contained in the Road Safety Strategy.

“It also means individually, as ordinary road users, that we need to take greater responsibility for our actions when using the road.

“We can do this by slowing down, not driving while impaired through drink, drugs or fatigue, by not driving while using a phone, by wearing a seatbelt and always sharing the road more carefully with pedestrians and cyclists,” he said.

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.

“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.

“It is a target that is very achievable – put simply, it means saving two more lives a month, every month.

“[This is] something we should all work together to do in 2020.”

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