Big fall in road deaths of cyclists and motorcyclists


THE NUMBER of cyclists and motorcyclists killed on the roads reduced over the past decade, new research shows.

The decline in deaths for these two groups was greater than for any other groups, according to the figures. Research published by the Road Safety Authority and the Garda reveals a drop of 75 per cent in the number of cyclists killed between 2001 and 2010.

The number of motorcyclists killed in the same period fell by two-thirds.

Pedestrians have consistently accounted for the next highest number of fatalities each year. That figure fell by 54 per cent from 89 in 2001 to 41 last year.

In total, 212 people died on the roads here last year compared to 411 in 2001. Some 592 people were seriously injured in crashes in 2010.

Last year, fatalities among motorcyclists fell by 32 per cent (from 25 to 17) compared with 2009 figures.

The number of drivers and passengers killed last year, at 133, fell by 9 per cent on 2009.

Some 230 such car users died on the roads in 2001 and this fell by 42 per cent to 133 last year.

The Garda, Road Safety Authority, local authority road safety officers and the Parc road safety group published the figures to mark the worldwide launch of the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020.

The initiative aims to save five million lives on the world’s roads in the next 10 years.

Chief Supt Gabriel McIntyre said that over the past number of years, Ireland had been at the forefront of changing road safety attitudes and behaviour. He said there had been considerable improvement in the condition of roads in the State in recent years.

“Statistics and analysis would show that there’s a very reduced chance of having an accident on our motorways and dual carriageways,” he said. “But in saying that, I think the culture has also improved in relation to the attitude towards drunken-driving as well.”

New equipment capable of testing new reduced blood-alcohol levels for drivers had yet to be purchased, he said.