2014 News

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01 August 2014

Rise in Road Fatalities Mirrors Last Year’s Carnage

  • Children, Older Persons, Motorcyclists and Pedestrians at Greatest Risk
  • Predicted total number of fatalities for full year could be as high as 216.

A review of Ireland’s road safety performance in the first seven months of 2014 has been published, today Friday 1st August, by the Road Safety Authority (RSA) and An Garda Síochána. It shows that there has been an alarming increase in the number of child, cyclist and pedestrian casualties.

From January to July 2014, there were 104 fatal collisions, which resulted in 113 deaths. This represents two more collision, and five more deaths compared to the same period in 2013. This increase is a major concern, particularly in the context of the increase in fatalities seen in 2013, when deaths for the year rose from 162 to 190, marking the first increase in fatalities since 2005.

13 children under the age of 16 have died in the first seven months of the year, seven were pedestrians and six were car passengers. Seven children lost their lives in the whole of last year. This means that the number of child casualties so far this year has already exceeded the total number of child deaths in 2013.

Pedestrians account for the greatest proportion of vulnerable road user deaths. 23 pedestrians died between January and July which is an increase of nine deaths. In 18 of the 19 cases, where information was available the pedestrian was familiar with the local area where the collision occurred. 14 of the pedestrians were female. There was a higher rate of fatalities among those over 65 and those under 15.
Nine cyclists have lost their lives on the roads, compared to five in the whole of 2013.

Last year saw a spike in motorcycle casualties, and this pattern is being repeated in 2014. 15 Motorcycle users have died in collisions. 11 of the 13 fatal crashes were two vehicle collisions, the majority involving a car. 13 of the motorcyclists were male.

The only area where an improvement was recorded was the number of driver deaths, which dropped from 55 deaths up to the end of July 2013 to 45 in 2014.
A statistical prediction for year end 2014 conducted by the RSA Research Department estimates that the total number of fatalities for 2014 could be in the range of 156 to 216. There is a high likelihood that fatalities for 2014 could be around 186 or worse if the current trend is not reversed.

Commenting on the review Mr. Paschal Donohoe, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport said, ‘We have all worked too hard over the past decade to ensure the number of road deaths are reduced to allow a slip back to the time when we lost a life on our roads every day. I appeal to everyone to please take greater care on the roads and to understand the consequences of failing to do so. It could mean the loss of your licence, heartbreak and anguish for our loved ones or god forbid the stigma of being responsible for someone’s death or debilitating injury.”

From today, a number of measures have been introduced to protect people and to make our roads safer; penalty points for using a mobile phone, for speeding and for not wearing a seat belt have been increased, a new Novice category has been introduced for those who are obtaining their first full licence and a reduced point limit for disqualification comes into force for Novice and learner drivers. I will continue to seek the most effective ways of minimising the number of deaths on our roads, as every death is one too many.

Ms. Moyagh Murdock, CEO Road Safety Authority said that ‘It is frightening to think that on the basis of the first half of 2014, more people could die this year compared to last. And of course 2013 saw the first jump in roads deaths since 2005. Out of respect for those who have been killed and maimed, we simply have to do all in our power to put a halt to this unacceptable loss of life. 

Vulnerable road users need to take extra care when using the roads. Drivers in particular need to look out for children who might be playing, walking or cycling on or near the road. Remember, children are our most vulnerable road-users because of their age and the fact that they are not able to recognise danger like adults. So make sure you pay extra attention when children are nearby, especially in housing estates, and slow down to cope with the unexpected.”

Chief Superintendent Michael O’ Sullivan, Garda National Traffic Bureau said: “We have said many times that mistakes cost lives. Mistakes made, not only by drivers and riders, but also by pedestrians, cyclists and passengers. A simple thing that you do or don’t do, for example putting your safety belt on, could very much determine whether you live or die if a collision occurs.

Our particular appeal is for :

  • Drivers to reduce speed, always a wear safety belt, watch out for other road users
  • Passengers, always wear your safety belt and never distract the driver
  • Pedestrians, make yourself visible and always take care crossing the road
  • Pedal Cyclists, Be seen, obey rules of the road, and take great care around large vehicle
  • Motorcyclists be seen, wear appropriate PPE (personal protection equipment ), and  ride with restraint
  • Parents/guardians  make sure your children are playing in a safe place this summer.

It is up to every road user to ensure they do everything in their power to keep themselves and everyone else that shares the road with them, safe. Preventing the sometimes simple mistakes will save lives - it really is as simple as that.”

Chief Superintendent O’ Sullivan continued: “The first 6 months of the year has seen a significant rise in detections in most offence categories, holding a mobile phone being the most staggering, with a 60% plus increase in detections. Whilst showing an increase in roads policing activity, it also sadly shows that far too many drivers continue to flout the laws which keep our roads safe.”

A copy of the RSA report Ireland’s road safety performance in the first seven months of 2014 can be downloaded here.

As of Friday 1st August a total of 113 people have died on Ireland’s roads. This marks an increase of 5 deaths compared to the same date last year.

 

For further information please contact
RSA Press Office 096-25008 /  Brian Farrell, Communications Manager, RSA; 086-3881009
or
Garda Press Office Tel: 01 6662071 

 

An Garda Síochána Enforcement/ Educational Initiatives National/Regional/Divisional

  • Speeding
  • Intoxicated  Driving (drink/drugs)
  • Mobile Phones
  • Seatbelts
  • Public Service Vehicles/School Bus
  • Learner Permit Holders
  • "Slow Down" days
  • Bank Holiday campaigns/Stakeholders
  • Motorcyclist
  • Pedestrian Awareness
  • Pedal Cyclists
  • Commercial Vehicles
  • "Boy Racers"
  • Targeted Roads Policing Enforcement/ "Operation Focus"
  • Use of Social Media/ Garda Website

 


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