Road deaths in 2017 fell to lowest ever level on record
Sheetal Sukhija - Tuesday 2nd January, 2018
Some 158 people lost their life on Irish roads last year
Authorities declared last year as the safest year on record
In 2016, 186 people died as a result of fatal crashes
DUBLIN, Ireland - On the first day of the new year, authorities declared 2017 as the safest year on record, claiming fatal crashes in the country dropped by 15 percent.
In 2016, 186 people died as a result of fatal crashes, but some 158 people lost their life on Irish roads in 2017.
Last year, a record low was witnessed in the number of road deaths in Ireland - with represented a 15 percent drop in the number of road fatalities.
Due to this decrease, 2017 was the safest year on Ireland’s roads since road deaths were first recorded in 1959.
Authorities pointed out that in 2015, 162 deaths were recorded, making it the safest year on record.
In 2017, there were also 31 fewer fatal crashes, with a total of 143 fatal crashes last year compared to 174 the year prior.
In a statement, Transport Minister Shane Ross said, “It is very encouraging to see that we have reversed the upward trend in road deaths witnessed in 2016. The combined focus on improved legislation, greater enforcement and road safety campaigns all played their part in saving lives.”
Ross added, “But while it is heartening to see that 2017 was the lowest year on record for road deaths, this is not good enough. We need to continue our efforts if we are to achieve the objective of reducing fatalities to 124 by 2020. Ultimately our aim should be zero deaths on our roads.”
He added, “It’s obvious that better road traffic legislation saves lives. A vital tool in helping to reduce deaths and injury further is the new Road Traffic Bill (Amendment) 2017. I implore all members of the Oireachtas to allow its unimpeded passage so that its life-saving measures can be introduced without delay.”
Meanwhile, there was also a decrease in fatalities across drivers, passengers, pedestrians and motorcyclists.
Officials, however, pointed out that the number of cyclists that died last year increased by five compared to 2016.
The most number of road deaths were recorded in Dublin, with 23, followed by Cork, 14 and Mayo, 12.
Further, the record revealed that Monday was the most dangerous day with 37 of the deaths occurring on the first day of the week.
Officials said that not wearing a seatbelt remains a concern for both drivers and passengers.
It was identified as an issue in 19 percent of the fatalities.
Michael Finn, Assistant Commissioner said, “All road users played a part in making this the safest year on record – but we can never be complacent and we can always do more to reduce road fatalities further. One road death is one too many.”
Finn added, “An Garda Síochana will continue to target those that put others in danger on the roads, and the additional 150 Traffic Corps members being recruited in 2018 will greatly assist us to target and intercept those that cause risk to you and I on the road.”
Since 1959, a total of 24,128 people have died on Irish roads.
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