2011 News

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15 March 2011

RSA and Gardaí Issue Joint Road Safety Appeal as Road Deaths Rise

St Patrick’s Day Road Safety Blitz Announced

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) and An Garda Síochána have announced a major road safety blitz in the run up to the high risk St. Patrick’s Day period as the latest road collision statistics show there have been 15 more road deaths to date in 2011 compared to last year. There have been increases in the number of Motorcycle, Passenger and Driver deaths.

Urging road users to take extra care over the St. Patrick’s period the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Mr. Leo Varadkar TD said: “Ireland’s road safety record is now recognised worldwide and rightfully so; it has won us respect internationally. Last year marked the lowest number of road deaths in Ireland since records began, but the latest road collision stats show there has been a rise in road deaths since the beginning of 2011. This cannot continue; if we continue to behave on the roads as we have done in the first two and a half months of this year we risk undoing all the good work of the last number of years. We can never become complacent about road safety, on this weekend, or at any time during the year. I want us to build on our past success and work together to save more lives on our roads in 2011.”

Mr. Noel Brett, Chief Executive, Road Safety Authority said: “It’s been a bad start to the year from a road safety point of view. A total of 49 people have been killed on Irish roads, an increase of 15 on the same period last year. For every life lost on our roads many families and communities throughout Ireland are suffering the pain of losing a loved one, relative, friend or work colleague as a result of a fatal crash this year.”

“Road safety is everyone's responsibility and I do believe that the majority of people in this country are safe drivers. But if we become complacent and take our responsibilities for granted we are putting lives at risk. If we persist in driving dangerously we could be faced with three scenarios on our journey. They are meeting a paramedic, meeting a priest or meeting a Garda. For everyone’s sake I hope it is a Garda, because he or she might just have saved a life, maybe your own.”

For those who refuse to heed life-saving road safety messages and are not prepared to act responsibly, An Garda Síochána will be out in force over the St. Patrick’s Day period targeting dangerous behaviour on the roads.

Assistant Commissioner John Twomey, An Garda Síochána said: “The increase in fatalities on our roads to date this year is a cause of great concern to us in An Garda Síochána. As we approach St. Patrick’s Day we all need to reflect on how we use our roads.”

“An Garda Síochána is working hard to reduce the carnage on our roads but we need everyone to play their part in focusing people’s minds on achieving and maintaining safe roads”.

“The message from communities is clear. They do not want dangerous behaviour on our roads putting the lives of families and friends at risk. Equally, An Garda Síochána does not tolerate dangerous behaviour on our roads and over the St. Patrick’s Day Bank Holiday period, we will be active on the ground enforcing the regulations with particular emphasis on speeding and driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs. Last year over the St. Patrick’s Day holiday period (16th – 21st March 2010), 323 drivers were detected for drink driving and 849 were caught speeding,” the Assistant Commissioner added.

“Vulnerable road users are of particular concern with an increase of 18% in the number of pedestrians killed and a dramatic increase in the number of motorcyclists killed – 6 compared to none last year. An Garda Síochána appeals to drivers to be particularly aware of these roads users over the holiday period and to slow down in areas where they are likely to encounter pedestrians and motorcyclists. Pedestrians and motorcyclists are reminded to make themselves as visible as possible (consider wearing high vis clothing) and to be aware of the risks they face on our roads.

Passengers in vehicles represent another group showing a substantial increase with nine lives lost compared to five last year – an increase of 80%. Two-thirds of these passengers were aged between 16 and 30. An Garda Síochána is making a strong appeal to motorists to slow down and to ensure that all passengers, especially children, both in the front and rear, are wearing seatbelts”.

“As people travel throughout the country to various social and sporting events over the St. Patrick’s day period, I appeal to everyone using the road “think safe and act safely” at all times.

For more information on the Garda Safety Camera project and locations visit www.garda.ie and for information on road safety visit www.rsa.ie.


For further information please contact;

RSA Communications Office: 096 25008


Garda Press Office: 01 666 2071 or email [email protected]

  • A total of 49 people have died on Irish roads to date this year compared to 34 to the same date last year. This is an increase of 15 deaths.
  • Specifically, there has been a significant increase in Motorcyclist fatalities in 2011. Six motorcyclist deaths have been recorded to date compared to none up to the same period in 2010. Five of the motorcycle fatalities have been in the 26 to 45 year age bracket.
  • 21 drivers and 9 passengers have died to date in 2011 compared to 18 drivers and 5 passengers to the same date in 2010.
  • Of the 49 deaths in 2011 38 were male and 11 were female.
  • 9 people were killed or Seriously Injured over the St. Patrick’s Day period in 2010. A total of 62 people have been Killed or Seriously Injured over the St. Patrick’s Day period (16th, 17th and 18th March) between 2006 and 2010.

Table 1 Road Fatalities 2011 compared to 2010

Road User Type 2010 % of fatalities as of 9/03/2010 2011 % of fatalities as of 9/03/2011 Difference in fatalities
Pedestrian 11 32.4 13 26.5 +2
Driver 18 52.9 21 42.9 +3
Passenger 5 14.7 9 18.4 +4
Motorcyclist 0 0.0 6 12.2 +6
Pillion Passenger 0 0.0 0 0.0
Pedal Cyclist 0 0.0 0 0.0
Other 0 0.0 0 0.0
Total 34 49 +15


Table 2. St Patrick’s Day Stats (16th to the 18th March inclusive), past 5 years (2006-2010)

Year Killed Serious injury KSI
2006 1 8 9
2007 9 18 27
2008 2 7 9
2009 5 5 10
2010 4 3 7
Total 21 41 62






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