RSA and Gardaí publish road fatalities review

The Road Safety Authority (RSA ) and An Garda Síochána have published a provisional review of road fatalities for the first seven months of 2015. The review shows that, from January to July of this year, 92 people died on our roads in 87 collisions, 21 fewer deaths and 17 fewer collisions than the same period last year.

While one death is one too many, it is estimated that a further 100 people may die before the end of the year. However by taking greater responsibility and working together, all road users can prevent this chilling prediction from occurring.

The review of fatalities from January to July 2015 found that:

- Road deaths have declined by 19 per cent compared to last year (92 compared to 113 ) with reductions in all road-user groups;

- Up to 31 July 2015, 41 drivers, 16 passengers, 18 pedestrians, 12 motorcyclists and five cyclists have been killed on Irish roads;

- Reductions in road deaths were most evident in road users aged 15 years or younger (down 11 in 2015 ), vehicle occupants (down nine in 2015 ) and vulnerable road users;

- Younger and older drivers continue to remain a high risk group;

- Non-wearing of seatbelts is a concern for both drivers and passengers;

- Non-wearing of high visibility material is a concern for pedestrians;

The highest number of driver fatalities was recorded in Cork with six. Dublin recorded the highest number of vulnerable road user fatalities with seven lives lost between January and July.

Sunday was the worst day for fatalities to date this year, compared to mid-week in 2014. And this year, more fatalities have occurred in the afternoon and evening (from 4pm to 10pm ) than any other time period.

April had the lowest number of monthly fatalities since November 2012 with eight fatalities. However, July was the most dangerous month, with 20 lives lost.

Commenting on the review, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe TD said: “In the first seven months of this year, there have been 21 fewer deaths on our roads. While any reduction in road fatalities is to be welcomed, the month just gone was the worst on our roads so far this year, so we cannot and must not become complacent. If I could ask just one thing of everyone, it is that every time you use the roads, you treat other road users with respect and consideration. By sharing the road safely together, we can all play a role in saving lives.”

The report shows that fatalities among vulnerable road user groups have dropped, with the most notable decrease among pedestrians (down from 23 to 18 ). Where information was available, 10 of 12 pedestrians killed were recorded as not wearing any high visibility material.

There were four fewer pedal cyclists and three fewer motorcyclist fatalities to date in 2015, when compared to 2014. All of the cyclists killed to date were aged between 55 and 75. In terms of motorcyclist fatalities, in seven of the 12 collisions, overtaking, loss of control, and another vehicle making an unexpected manoeuvre were cited as situational factors. 

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