FORTY EIGHT LIVES have already been sadly lost on Irish roads this year, 14 more than this time last year.
The high number has led the Garda Síochána to say that it fears the country may see an overall increase in tragic deaths on Irish roads in 2013.
Gardaí said today, as people gear up for the Easter bank holiday weekend, that 107 people have suffered serious injuries as a result of a road traffic collision on Irish roads this year. Ireland has seen a reduction in road deaths every year since 2006, which has led to it becoming one of the safest countries in Europe for road safety.
Although 162 people tragically lost their lives in 2012, it was the lowest figure ever recorded since records began.
But gardaí have warned today that the country may end up with more than 162 road deaths by the end of 2013 if this upsurge in fatalities continues.
This cannot be allowed to happen, and we are appealing to every road user to take maximum care on our roads to ensure we reverse this increase in fatalities.
Drivers accounted for 29 of the 47 people killed on our roads to date, more than any other road user category.
- Over half of these fatal collisions occurred between 8pm and 4am
- Over half were single vehicle collisions
- More than three quarters were on roads with a speed limit of 80kph or more.
Due to the cold weather predicted this bank holiday weekend, gardaí are asking all drivers to recognise the need to slow down, always wear their seatbelt, never drive whilst tired and never, ever drink and drive.
Assistant Commissioner Gerard Phillips said today:
It took a lot of hard work to make Ireland one of the safest countries in Europe in terms of road safety – we don’t want to lose that accolade. We now ask that every road user continues to help us to make our roads safer, and reverse the situation we find ourselves in today.
Noel Brett, Chief Executive of the Road Safety Authority, urged people to plan ahead if they want to drink this weekend, by leaving their keys at home and designating a driver or using public transport.
He also said that vulnerable road users need to take precautions over the bank holiday weekend.
Pedestrians, motorcyclists and cyclists should wear something that will make them stand out to other road-users, particularly in conditions of poor weather and poor visibility. Fluorescent materials are most effective during the day and reflective materials at night. Pedestrians are advised in particular to take extra care and not to walk home if they are under the influence of alcohol.