Six people killed on roads since last Friday


Six people were killed in separate road accidents between last Friday and yesterday.

Yet the total for the year is still set to fall below 400 for the first time since 1986, when the number of people killed was 387.

A male driver was killed near Newcastle, Co Dublin, at 1.20 a.m. on Friday.

He has not yet been named.

Two hours later a man was killed when his car was in collision with a lorry at Kenagh, near Longford.

He was named as Mr Anthony Coleman (39), Ballymahon, Co Longford.

At 4.55 a.m. on Friday, Mr Peter Fortune (37), Tallaght, Co Dublin, was killed when the lorry he was driving was in collision with another lorry at Ballybrittas, Co Laois.

Mr Michael Bathe (34) was killed at about 8 a.m. on Friday when his bicycle was in collision with a car at Kilcullen, Co Kildare.

At 1.15 a.m. yesterday, a man and a woman were killed in a two-vehicle collision at Claregalway, Co Galway.

A spokesman for the National Safety Council said that, while any number of road deaths was too many, it looked "very hopeful" the numbers would remain below 400 by the end of the year.

The reduction in road fatalities has been attributed to the introduction of penalty points for speeding by the Minister for Transport, Mr Brennan, in October.

Mr Brennan is to bring the non-wearing of safety belts under the penalty points system from early in the new year.

In addition, at least five new items for which drivers can collect penalty points are to be added each month on average next year, making 2003 "the year the holding of a driving licence becomes a privilege, not a right", according to the Minister.