Road fatalities in Ireland reach record low
The number of road deaths in Ireland fell 15% in 2017, according to new figures published by the country’s Road Safety Authority (RSA).
The provisional road collision statistics for 2017 indicate that over the year a total of 158 people lost their lives on Ireland’s roads as a result of 143 fatal crashes, compared to 186 lives lost in 174 fatal crashes in 2016. This represents 28 fewer fatalities or a 15% drop in deaths and 31 fewer fatal crashes or an 18% drop in fatal crashes.
The figures indicate a new record low since road deaths were first recorded in 1959. Previously, 2015 (with 162 deaths) was the safest year on record.
Shane Ross, Minister for Transport, Tourism, credited the improvement to a combined focus on improved legislation, road safety campaigns and greater enforcement – last year saw the number of traffic corps increased by 10% and the country’s An Garda Siochana police force has committed to a similar increase for this year with an additional 150 traffic corps members.
However, Moyagh Murdock, chief executive, RSA, said there must be a further 22% reduction in road deaths, on 2017 figures, over the next three years, to ensure Ireland meets its road safety targets to make its roads as safe as the best performing countries in the European Union.