Seven people lost their lives on Mayo roads in 2012, a reduction of four from the 11 who were fatally injured in 2011.
And while the reduction has to be welcomed, that is still seven families grieving due to the untimely and tragic loss of a loved one.
As Mayo’s road safety officer puts it: “Road deaths are more than mere statistics. These are the lives of human beings; the lives of mothers, fathers, and children. One death on our road is one death too many. We therefore urge all road users to make road safety part of their New Year resolutions or risk losing their life this year.”
Last year was the safest on record on Irish roads, with 161 road deaths, down from 186 in 2011, a fact that has also been welcomed by MEP Jim Higgins.
Speaking at his constituency office in Mayo, the Fine Gael MEP said: “2011 was already a record year in the race to drive down the carnage on our roads. The RSA, the Gardaí, and the Government deserve great praise for the work they have done in the last decade to cut the bloody slaughter on our roads. I also especially want to thank the public who seem to have road safety to the fore when they use the roads - be it as a pedestrian, cyclist, or driver.”
Road deaths have now fallen every year since 2006. Furthermore it is also the fifth year in a row that a new record low for fatalities in this country has been achieved.
The third Road Safety Strategy 2007 to 2012, which will be replaced in early 2013 with a new eight year strategy, set a target of reducing road deaths to no more than 252 deaths a year by the end of 2012. Not only was this target achieved ahead of schedule in 2009, it was significantly surpassed. Since the beginning of 2007 there has been a 56 per cent decrease in road deaths. While the total number of serious injuries sustained in crashes in 2012 is not yet available, there has been a 51 per cent reduction in these injuries up to the end of 2011.
Top 10 New Year resolutions for road safety
As we look forward to 2013, many of us consider what changes we want to make in our lives to be better in the New Year. Have you considered what you can do (or continue to do ) to be a better driver?
10. To share the road with pedestrians and cyclists.
9. To drive with my dipped lights on during daylight hours.
8. To give myself plenty of distance between me and the vehicle in front of me.
7. To give myself plenty of time and not to speed.
6. To be courteous to other drivers and to use my indicators.
5. To use my common sense by paying attention when I drive and to drive responsibly.
4. To never drink and drive.
3. I will keep my eyes on the road. Not on my mobile phone, vanity-mirror, or my breakfast roll. Avoid unnecessary distractions. This also means no talking on the phone while driving, and certainly no texting.
2. To make sure that I, and everyone in my vehicle, is belted up.
1. I will keep it cool on the road. Road rage can have some serious repercussions, stress you out, or make your daily commute a daily bother.
Share these top 10 New Year resolutions with your friends, family, and others in your community. By following these 10 resolutions, we can save lives and reduce injuries on Irish roads.