Drivers of Westmeath have been commended for their improvements in general road safety, after it was revealed that just one person was killed on the county’s roads in the first four months of 2013.
Jim Higgins MEP for Ireland North West, and our member of the European Parliament transport committee has welcomed the figures released by the Road Safety Authority this week which show that there was just the one fatality on the roads in Westmeath since the start of the year.
Paul Kilduff, a 24-year-old motorcyclist from Sallins Co Kildare was killed when he collided with a van in Loughnavalley on April 12.
“Gardaí cannot be in all places at all times, and so I want to thank the public in Westmeath for their cooperation. Motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists all share the road, and all have their own part to play, so credit where credit is due,” said the MEP.
Nationally however, the figures tell a different story as 13 more people lost their lives on Irish roads in the first four months of 2013, compared to the same period in 2012, which represents a sobering increase of 20 per cent.
“Last year was the safest year ever on Irish roads, with 161 people losing their lives, thanks to the work of the RSA and the public’s cooperation. We need to make sure 2013 is even safer, and stop the bloody slaughter,” he added.
Mr Higgins paid particular tribute to the work of the RSA saying: “Since it was set up in 2006, the number of lives lost has been falling year on year. This has been due to a combination of driver education, hard-hitting ads, better enforcement, new driving tests and licences, the NCT, and penalty points. From being one of the most dangerous countries a decade ago, we are now the fourth safest country in the EU [behind Sweden, Denmark, and Malta] in which to drive - this is no small achievement”.
To put our fatality figures in world context, in Bangladesh there is a road fatality per 15 vehicles, while this figure for Ireland is one per 15,000.
Last year, 161 people lost their lives on Irish roads, whereas in the most deadly nation on earth for driving - India - this figure was just under 134,000.