herald

Saturday 23 August 2014

Our roads are fourth safest in Europe, but we want the top spot

IRISH roads are the fourth safest in Europe, after the death toll fell for the seventh year in a row.

Now, safety bosses are set to focus on reducing the number of serious injuries in 2013. It comes as cyclists in Dublin who break the law by running red lights and using footpaths are targeted with on-the-spot fines.

The Department of Transport said that gardai have reported increased success in prosecuting cyclists in court.

Following discussions, the department is considering extending the fixed-charge system to all cycling offences. Under the proposals, a cyclist breaking the law would have the option to pay a fine within 56 days of its issue date or go to court.

Meanwhile, garda figures show that there were 162 fatalities from road crashes in 2012, which was 23 fewer than in 2011.

Collision

As the year comes to a close, this figure is set to mark another record low in the numbers killed on the roads since 1956.

In the latest fatality, gardai confirmed that a 26-year-old woman, who was seriously injured in a road traffic collision in Cobh, Co Cork on Saturday, died in Cork University Hospital early this morning as a result of her injuries.

Those who died on the roads during 2012, included 79 drivers, 27 passengers and 28 pedestrians.

At the moment, Ireland is ranked sixth highest in terms of road safety in the European Union but will move to fourth unless there is a significant number of fatalities before the turn of the year at midnight.

The Road Safety Authority has said it is seriously looking at the prospect of positioning Ireland as number one in coming years.

fdillon@herald.ie

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