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Road Safety Authority reports 149 deaths on Irish roads in 2020

There was a 25% reduction in the number of serious or minor injuries in 2020.

Image: RSA

THERE WAS A 6% increase in the number of people who died on Irish roads in 2020, but a 25% decrease in serious or minor injuries, according to provisional figures.

A total of 149 people died on Irish roads in 2020 – compared to 140 in 2019 – a 6% rise. 2018 was the safest recorded year on Irish roads.

Up to 1pm on New Year’s Eve, 149 people had died as a result of 138 fatal crashes, compared to 140 deaths in 129 fatal crashes the previous year.

However, there has been a 25% reduction in the number of injury collisions (serious and minor combined) that occurred on Irish roads, down from 5,527 in 2019 to 4,120 in 2020. 

The figures were published by the Road Safety Authority (RSA) following an analysis of provisional fatal collision reports by An Garda Síochána.

Casualty figures for 2020 show that there has been an decrease in the number of drivers killed, down 11 or 16%, compared to 2019. There has been an increase in pedestrian deaths, up 5 or 16%, and passenger deaths, up 11. 

Cork and Dublin had the highest number of fatalities for all road users – 25 and 20 respectively. Saturday (29) was the most dangerous day of the week in terms of road deaths in 2019, followed by Monday (25) and Wednesday (25).

Over half of fatalities in 2020 occurred on a Monday, Wednesday or Saturday (53%). 

Screenshot 2021-01-01 at 11.50.31 - Display 2 Source: RSA

Liz O’Donnell, Chairperson of the RSA, stated: “I am saddened by the increase in road deaths, particularly following on from the two safest years on record for road fatalities in 2018 and 2019. 

“Overall, our strategy to reduce road trauma is working. Between 2013 and 2019, Ireland saw a 26% reduction in road traffic fatalities, compared to just a 6% reduction across the whole of the EU,” said O’Donnell.

“It is important to acknowledge that many lives have been saved and the next strategy now being prepared will build on this progress,” she said. 

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Commenting on the figures, Hildegarde Naughton, Minister for State at the Department of Transport said: “It has been a disappointing year for road safety. While we have seen a significant reduction in the number of serious and minor injury crashes, road deaths have increased.

“This is despite a reduction in traffic volumes for periods during the year due to the pandemic. However, we have had setbacks like this in the past. What’s important is how we respond,” said Naughton. 

The Minister added that the development of the new ‘Government Road Safety Strategy’ “is well underway”.

“All deaths on our roads are preventable and no loss of life or injury should be tolerated or accepted as the price of our mobility. Starting in the new year, working together, Government agencies and public alike, we must begin the work of realising the vision of zero deaths on Ireland’s roads,” said Naughton. 

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