herald

Monday 25 September 2017

Majority of deaths on Irish roads occur during the weekend

Chief Supt Aidan Reid
Chief Supt Aidan Reid

More than half of all fatalities on Irish roads happen over the weekend, new figures reveal.

To date, 77 people have died on Irish roads this year, 11 fewer compared with this time last year.

The majority of these fatalities (52pc) have happened on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday.

Although the number of road deaths has decreased, An Garda Siochana and the Road Safety Authority (RSA) are urging road users to take extra care this summer.

"Twenty-one people lost their lives on our roads last July, the highest of any month since June 2012," said Chief Supt Aidan Reid of the Garda National Roads Policing Bureau.

"We do not want that to be repeated this July or in any month going forward. "Although 2017 is showing a reduction in road fatalities, we can never afford to be complacent."

Statistically, summer traditionally carries a higher risk for all road users.

There are many more people travelling around the country during this time who are in unfamiliar surroundings. Schools are off and more children are out playing.

There are also more agricultural vehicles, cyclists and motorcycles sharing the roads with other road users.

All of these factors increase the risk for all road users during the summer months, according to the RSA.

Meanwhile, there have been an additional 1,000 drink-driving related arrests since last July, when there were 725 arrests across the month for driving under the influence. This compares with 611 arrests during July of the previous year.

Last August there were 693 arrests for driving under the influence and 687 during August 2015.

Chief Supt Reid added that some people still choose to ignore drink-driving laws.

Selfish

"The message is still not getting through to some, so can I take this opportunity to remind drivers that drink or drug-driving is selfish and will continue to be a core focus of our policing activity. It costs lives on our roads, there is no other way to put it," he said.

Ten cyclists have died on Irish roads this year compared with the same time last year.

From 2012 to 2016 there were 91 fatalities on Irish roads across the month of July.

Meanwhile, there have been 73 Irish road fatalities recorded during this period for the month of August.

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