Road deaths in Ireland fell to the lowest level on record last year. The figures, published by The Road Safety Authority (RSA) show that a total of 158 people lost their lives on the country’s roads in 2017, 28 fewer (15%) than 2016.
The previous lowest since records began in 1959 was 162 in 2015.
Road fatalities by year -1959-2017
According to the report 158 lives were lost in 143 separate crashes. This compares to 186 lives lost in 174 fatal crashes in 2016.
There were 15 cyclist fatalities in 2017 a reduction of 50% on 2016 figures. Pedestrian deaths on our roads fell by 14% last year with 30 fatalities. Monday proved the most dangerous day of the week on the Republic’s roads in 2017 with 37 deaths.
The highest number of driver fatalities occurred in Dublin, Cork, Louth, Mayo and Meath (5 in each) with the highest number of passenger fatalities occurring in Mayo (5) and Wexford (4).
Chairperson of the RSA, Liz O’Donnell, praised the “concerted effort on the part of Government, Government Departments, agencies and the public to continue to implement the measures in the Government’s Road Safety Strategy.”
Transport Minister Shane Ross said: “It is very encouraging to see we have reversed the upward trend in road deaths.“The combined focus on improved legislation, greater enforcement and road safety campaigns all played their part.
Ross noted that Irish roads were safer due to greater enforcement which had resulted in higher detection figures and welcomed the commitment from An Garda Siochana to repeat the 10% in the Traffic Corps implemented in 2017.
Assistant Garda Commissioner Michael Finn said: “All road users played a part in making this the safest year on record but we can never be complacent”.