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Almost 20% increase in road deaths last year with 184 people killed on Irish roads

Over a quarter of fatalities were aged 16-25 years, compared with 16% in 2022.

LAST YEAR SAW a 19% increase in road deaths compared to 2022, with 184 people killed on Irish roads in 2023.

Provisional road traffic collision figures released today by the Road Safety Authority show that there were 29 more deaths this year than last.

A total of 184 people died in 173 fatal collisions in 2023 compared to 155 deaths in 149 collisions in 2022. 

The figures show a higher proportion of male fatalities, a continuation of 2022’s increased level of pedestrian fatalities and a high number of fatalities taking place at night when there is less traffic on the roads.

Of the 184 road deaths, 69 were drivers, 44 were pedestrians, 34 were passengers, 26 were motorcyclists, 8 were cyclists and 3 were e-scooter users. 

Some 78% of fatalities were male, while 22% were female.

Last year saw the highest number of pedestrian fatalities since 2011 when 47 were killed.

Over a quarter of fatalities were aged 16-25 years, compared with 16% in 2022, while almost half (46%) of fatalities occurred between Friday and Sunday, where known.

Commenting on the figures, Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Jack Chambers said last year was a “heartbreaking and devastating” year on Irish roads.

“Our thoughts are with all those impacted as we head into a new year,” he said. 

The minister highlighted a number of reforms progressed in 2023 specifically targeted at “lifesaver” offences, which are the main contributors to fatal road collisions.

“The Road Traffic Bill received cabinet approval in December and we will be working to have this essential piece of legislation progressed through the Dáil in early 2024.

“Work is well underway on a number of other initiatives in partnership with other Government departments and agencies to be delivered throughout this year.

“I would also like to pay tribute and special thanks to our emergency services and first responders who do incredible lifesaving work in the most challenging circumstances,” Minister Chambers said.

The counties that recorded the highest number of deaths in 2023, accounting for 39% of total fatalities were: Tipperary (16), Dublin (15), Cork (15), Galway (13), Mayo (12).

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