Road fatality figures released by the Road Safety Authority (RSA) have revealed that there was no increase or decrease in road deaths in Offaly during the Government Road Safety Strategy 2007 to 2012 when compared to the period of the previous strategy which ran from 2004 to 2006.
These figures were announced as the Road Safety Authority prepares to finalise the next Road Safety Strategy which will span an eight year period from 2013 to 2020.
162 people died on Irish roads in 2012, 24 fewer fatalities than the previous year when 186 people died and 51 fewer than 2010 when 212 people died on our roads. Between 2007 and 2012, the national average reduction in road deaths was 57% when compared to the number of fatalities between 2004 and 2006. Offaly was the only county in Ireland that did not have an increase or decrease in road deaths.
The report, ‘2007 to 2012 road traffic deaths by user type and county’, highlights the lives lost in Offaly over the past five years. Since 2007, 23 drivers, six motorcyclists and cyclists and three pedestrians have been killed on roads in the county. Last year seven people died on roads in Offaly.
Commenting on the report’s findings, Noel Brett, Chief Executive of the Road Safety Authority said, “Offaly is the only county in Ireland which had neither an increase or decrease in road deaths. While it is great that road deaths didn’t increase it is important that communities across Offaly come together and say, enough is enough, we don’t want any more people dying on our roads. All it takes to make a difference is for one person to say, I’m going to change my behaviour on the roads so that I can keep myself and others safe when we’re out on the roads.
“On behalf of the RSA I would like to thank each and every person in Offaly for the contribution you have made to keeping roads in your county safe and encourage you all to make a commitment for 2013 to redouble your efforts in order to reduce deaths on your county’s roads. I would also like to pay tribute to An Garda Síochána, emergency services personnel and Local Authorities for their work in reducing the death toll on our roads.”
Road deaths in Ireland have fallen every year since 2006. Ireland’s Third Road Safety Strategy 2007 to 2012 aimed to reduce road deaths to 252 per annum by the end of 2012 and the target was achieved and surpassed three years ahead of schedule in 2009. While the total number of serious injuries sustained in crashes in 2012 is not yet available, there was a 51% reduction in these injuries up to the end of 2011.
The Third Road Safety Strategy will be replaced in the coming months by a longer term strategy, running from 2013 until 2020, which will focus, among other things, on reducing serious injuries on Irish roads.