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Road Fatalities

Number of deaths on Irish roads so far this year has now equalled the total for 2022

155 people have died on Irish roads this year, equalling the figure for the entirety of last year.

LAST UPDATE | 23 Oct 2023

THE NUMBER OF deaths on Irish roads so far this year has now equalled the total number of fatalities in 2022.

A total of 155 people died on Ireland’s roads last year and figures from An Garda Síochána reveal that this figure has already been equalled with more than two months to go before the end of the year. 

This means that the number of fatalities is almost one-third higher (31.3%) than it was at this time last year. 

Of the 155, 53 were drivers and 32 were passengers, while 39 were pedestrians. 

A further 22 were motorcyclists, five were pedal cyclists, three were e-scooter drivers or passengers, and one was a motorcycle passenger. 

The number of deaths so far this year is an increase of 37 on the same time period last year, and an increase of 43 when compared to the same period in 2019.

The two most recent deaths on Ireland’s roads occurred over the weekend, when a female cyclist in her 70s was killed on Saturday afternoon in Monaghan and a pedestrian in her 80s was killed on Sunday morning in Clare. 

Meanwhile, it’s been revealed via a Freedom of Information request that the Department of Transport asked the Road Safety Authority if there was anything it could do before the end of the year to target “difficult trends” that had seen the number of road fatalities this year soar.

The RSA said in a statement: “This year has seen an alarming increase in fatalities and the RSA is urging all road users to work together to keep our roads safe for the remainder of the year, particularly as we enter the winter months which present additional challenges.”

In emails exchanged in August, the Department said if there were last-minute ideas that could be implemented before 2023 was over, the Department would ensure funding was available as public pressure grew over the rising toll of fatalities.

The Department said an anticipated boost in garda funding should be “really significant” but asked if the RSA could look at other “emergency measures” that might help.

An email said: “Perhaps there are ways to build upon or amplify [your media messages], through further communications campaign targeting high risk groups or other approaches.”

FOI records showed how by the end of August, the 124 deaths on Irish roads by that stage were 24% ahead of the figure from 2022.

When compared to 2019, pre the COVID pandemic, road deaths were up by 44% in a direct comparison.

An internal briefing noted that there had been 155 total deaths in all of 2022 and how “tragically” we were well “on course to surpass that”.

-With additional reporting from Ken Foxe

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