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29th Aug 2023

‘Worrying trend’ of Irish road deaths spurs speed limit review

Fiona Frawley

irish road deaths

An updated communications campaign will also be put in place.

A speed limit review is taking place and will be brought to the government in the coming weeks, according to Junior Transport Minister Jack Chambers.

Speaking on RTÉ Radio’s News at One show, the minister said the review will “radically change” the “mishmash” of speed limits in the country.

“We’re working on other initiatives with An Garda Síochána, expanding the GoSafe contract, for example, to address the issue of speeding.

“I have a speed limit review which I’ll be bringing to Government in the coming weeks which will quite radically change a lot of the fragmentation and mishmash of speed limits that we see on our roads system.”

It was also revealed that the government will meet with the Road Safety Authority and the Gardaí in order to discuss the rise in road deaths this year.

It was reported that there have been 20% more fatalities in 2023 than 2022, and 40% more than 2019.

The 120 deaths this year – including 27 pedestrians, 43 drivers, 17 motorcyclists, 26 passengers, three pedal cyclists and three e-scooter riders – mark a worrying trend, said Minister Chambers.

It was also revealed that an updated communications campaign will be put in place to target specific cohorts associated with the underlying trend.

Car crash e-scooters Dundalk Image via Rolling News

Road death figures the worst in six years

Figures revealed in early August by the Road Safety Authority (RSA) showed that road deaths in the first half of 2023 are the worst for six years.

The RSA predicted that if current trends continue, as many as 168 lives will be lost on Irish roads by the end of the year.

Some of the key points of the data provided by the RSA showed that 23 of the deaths (as of August 1) were attributed to young people aged 16-25.

Road fatalities have come under significant attention lately due to a number of recent high profile incidents.

Last week, the town of Clonmel was left reeling after the fatal car crash involving Luke McSweeney (24), his sister Grace McSweeney (18), Nicole Murphy, and Zoey Coffey (both 18) on Friday, August 25th.

Over 2,000 people attended the vigil in Kickham Plaza in Clonmel on Sunday evening, which was led by local clergy and the Mayor of Clonmel Cllr. Richie Molloy.

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