In Ireland there were 185 road deaths in 2011, lowest since records began. This figure includes all road users; drivers, passengers, cyclists, bikers and pedestrians.
The statistic seems to be in major decline with the figure more than double just 5 years ago (2006 figure is 365). The garda website shows a grid with figures per month for the last 10 years.
The number of road deaths has also been plummeting in the UK with less than 2000 deaths in the 2011 – which is the lowest figure since records began.
There seems to be an identical drop in the number of deaths on the road in both the UK and Ireland.
There are a number of factors involved that are contributing to decrease in road deaths and they are
- Higher standards in driving standards. Driving standards agencies are continually raising the standards of driving tests delivered theory tests and more stringent practical tests. Students taking driving lessons are spending more time getting to grips with higher standards set. Driving Instructors and Driving Schools standards are also continually rising
- Speed cameras – very much in force in England contribute a healthy extra budget to local councils and police forces but it is questioned whether there is any evidence of this causing lower road deaths or accidents.
- Alcohol limits – are constantly being lowered with testing at an all-time high. Driving under the influence of alcohol can cause a license to be revoked, fines as well as a prison sentence.
- Safer cars – car safety is constantly improving with airbags, seats and many other features in cars preventing injury and death in case of collision.
- Car Safety Inspections (VRT or MOTs) are getting more rigid with the enforcement of these increasing.
- Laws being passed on road safety such as seatbelts, not using mobile phones and more recently proposed not being allowed to use a headset – ie no conversation on the phone to be allowed at all.
There are many factors involved in cutting road deaths. Road speed, while checked heavily, remains a controversial issue as to how much it contributes to road deaths and accidents.
What is your view on road safety; what should be more relaxed or more enforced?