Road fatalities rise from previous years, with 45 dead in 2023 so far – The Irish Times

The number of people killed on the roads so far this year is higher than in the same period of the last two years, with this January recording the highest number of deaths in a month in more than a year.

About 45 people have died in road accidents since the beginning of the year, according to the latest figures from Garda.

25 of those killed were drivers, while eight were passengers in vehicles involved in accidents. Nine pedestrians were killed on the streets, as well as two motorcyclists and one person traveling on an e-scooter. No cyclists have died on the roads this year.

This January was the deadliest month for road deaths since August 2021, with 20 fatalities in accidents.

The number of fatalities so far in 2023 is one more than at this point in the previous year and five more than in the same period in 2021.

The number of road deaths in 2021 was the lowest since records began in 1959, with just 136 people killed in accidents. The number of road deaths rose to 157 last year and this year is on track to match that number.

Susan Gray, Chair of the Traffic Safety Advocacy Parc, said progress made in recent years appears to have slowed down over the past year. “There’s no point in being complacent when it comes to traffic fatalities,” she said.

Ms Gray said the number of motorcyclists killed on the road has fallen this year, which is positive.

The road safety activist called for more Gardaí to be assigned to road policing units. “There’s no better deterrent than seeing a checkpoint,” she said.

Figures from Garda show that more than 8,000 people were arrested for drunk driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs last year. While another 5,500 were arrested for dangerous driving. Around 18,500 motorists have been fined for driving with a mobile phone, the figures show.

Dais Johnston

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