Sadly we learn this morning that four more motorists have died in three separate road crashes in three counties across Ireland in the last 12 hours.
Statistics published recently by the National Road Safety Authority (RSA), show that Tipperary has now the second highest number of road deaths to date this year, nationally, with nine people having lost their lives as result of vehicle crashes. This figure is only surpassed by Co. Cork; which regrettably almost doubles our own sad target and shows that some 17 people have lost their lives during this same period.
There has been a 9% increase in the number of road deaths nationally so far this year, based on the previous year’s figures, with 97 people having died to date. Interestingly these recent figures; latter collated by the Gardaí and the RSA, show that half of all fatalities happened at the weekend, with 21% (or 19 deaths), occurring between midnight and 6.00am on Sundays.
The RSA are now predicting that if current motoring trends are permitted to continue, up to 80 more people could lose their lives before the end of December 2016. The collated figures further demonstrate that seven deceased drivers and four now lifeless passengers were definitely not wearing their seatbelts when they lost their lives; indicating that these same 11 lives could have possibly been saved had they been obeying road user agreed regulations.
The majority of road deaths were vehicle drivers, which accounted for 43 of all fatalities, followed by 18 passengers, 16 pedestrians, 11 motorcyclists and 5 cyclists. Based on these new statistics and with the August bank holiday on the horizon, people need to be particularly careful when driving in the early hours of the morning; noting that clearly on Saturdays and Sundays, there has been a 21% increase in all road fatalities.
Qualified Driving Instructors are also asking motorists to demonstrate greater courtesy to Learner Drivers; reporting that behaviour by fully licensed drivers is bringing about unnecessary nervousness and tension amongst L Plate drivers, through tailgating and other impatient discourtesy being displayed.
Regrettably also it should be noted that the number of Gardaí operating in the Traffic Corps has fallen from 1,200 (2009) to approximately 700 this year (2016), resulting in an insufficient number of Garda checkpoints on national roads. As a result, there is a growing perception among Tipperary motorists that they will not be caught speeding, misbehaving or indeed drink-driving.