By Nathan Molloy
Galway has the joint second highest number of fatalities on the nation’s roads this year. So far in 2023, 11 people have lost their lives on the county’s roads. Equalling that of neighbouring county Mayo.
Only Tipperary (16), has seen more road fatalities than Galway. As of November 8, there have been 163 fatalities on Irish roads.
This year has already seen more fatalities than last year’s total of 155. The latest Road Safety Authority (RSA) statistics from August, show that almost half of the fatalities were on weekends, with the the majority (46%) being between 8pm and 8am. People aged between 16 – 25 made up a quarter of the fatalities.
A Worrying Trend
According to The Irish Times, Minister of Justice, Helen McEntee, has said that more needs to be done to counter “really worrying” trends of Irish road deaths this year. She added that there needs to be more Garda presence on the ground every day of the week.
A multi pronged approach, is needed to address the alarming rise of Irish road deaths, according to Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. Speaking at the opening of the final section of the Macroom to Baile Bhuirne bypass, the Taoiseach thinks that the approach will need to put emphasis on education as well as enforcement. He added that the government, are looking at increasing the number of gardai allocated to road policing duties.
More Speed Cameras
The RSA’s latest statistics show that single vehicle collisions made up 58% of the fatalities on Irish roads.
Garda Commissioner, Drew Harris believes that more static speed cameras, could stop the alarming trends on the country’s roads, especially single vehicle collisions.
“It’s not for the individual driver to decide, this is a clear stretch of road, there’s not many accidents here, therefore the speed limit is only advisory. There is a lot of single vehicle collisions which are ending in fatalities. Very often they are a result of speed.”
With 22 days of November and the month of December to come, 2023’s 163 fatalities on the country’s roads, is the highest since 2016 (182) and the 4th highest in the past 10 years, with 2013 (188) and 2014 (192) the highest.