The number of road fatalities in Galway has halved since 2007, according to a recently published report by the Road Safety Authority.
It has been confirmed that in 2013, 13 people were killed on Galway’s roads compared to 24 deaths in 2007, a reduction of 46 per cent over the last six years.
The report was not all good news, however, with Galway recording the second highest number of pedestrian fatalities behind Dublin last year with four deaths, and the third highest county behind Cork and Dublin for motorcyclists killed over the six years with 12 deaths.
The report, entitled ‘2007 to 2013 road traffic deaths by user type and county’, shows that since 2007, 72 car users, 12 motorcyclists, two cyclists, six goods vehicle users, one public service vehicle user, and 28 pedestrians have lost their lives on roads. One additional fatality was recorded where the road-user category was unknown.
Commenting on the report’s findings, Moyagh Murdock, chief executive of the Road Safety Authority, said; “In every community, town, and county in Ireland, we must all collectively accept greater responsibility for our own safety by becoming custodians and champions for safety on the road. We can all make a huge difference when we make road safety a priority and work together to effect real change.
“I would like to thank road-users in Galway for their commitment to road safety and would also like to pay tribute to An Garda Síochána, emergency services personnel, and local authorities for their work in reducing the death toll on our roads. If we all redouble our efforts in 2014, there is no reason why we can’t make Ireland’s roads the safest in the world.”
Also commenting on the reports findings, the Western Garda Region traffic superintendent, Pat Murray, welcomed the reduction by confirming that a further reduction for this year could be on the cards: “It is great to see the downward trend maintained thankfully. This year we have seen a dramatic improvement once again, with the number of road traffic deaths from January to May down four deaths in County Galway which shows a 57 per cent reduction compared to the same period last year. Things can change quickly though and it is not necessarily a good measure to look at numbers alone.”
Superintendent Murray feels that the June Bank Holiday weekend showed how effective Garda campaigns such as Operation Slow Down can be when the public engage with them. Operation Slow Down was brought into effect for a 24 hour period from 7am on Friday May 30 to 7am Saturday May 31, which saw a rollout of speed checkpoints, cameras, and other speed enforcement technology deployed across the city and county.
The superintendent confirmed that over the course of the weekend, there were no fatal or serious traffic collisions in Galway city or county, however there were four arrests made in relation to driving while intoxicated.
Supt Murray has called on the public to continue to do their part in reducing the number of fatalities and serious injuries on the road by engaging with Garda enforcement, observing road safety legislation, and ultimately reducing speed and staying within the documented speed limits. “We are urging the public to use their better judgment when driving and to reduce speed on a regular basis, as we all know that speed is a major contributary factor in road deaths.”
Ireland’s fourth Road Safety Strategy 2013 to 2020 sets out to reduce road deaths nationally to 124 or fewer per annum by the end of 2020.