Four people died on Kildare roads last year

Targeting of those relying on on long term learner permit will continue

Henry Bauress

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Henry Bauress

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henry.bauress@leinsterleader.ie

Four people died on Kildare roads last year

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 Four people died in road accidents in county Kildare in 2019, according to provisional figures from the Road Safety Authority.

Nationally, the Authority (RSA) said pedestrian deaths decline by 36% and passenger deaths were down by 20%, but 2019 saw 45% rise in driver deaths. Vulnerable road user deaths decline by 23%.

Nationally, a total of 148 people lost their lives in 2019, compared to 142 in 2018, a 4% rise.

The RSA  said 2018 was the safest recorded year on Irish roads.

Its figures come from an analysis of provisional fatal collision reports by An Garda Síochána.

SEE ALSO: Kildare new car figures relatively high in 2019

Four people died on roads in county Kildare, representing 2.7% of the national total, 7 in Meath, 3 in Wicklow, 19 in Dublin, one in Laois and three in Carlow.

In 2013, for example, there were 13 road deaths in Kildare. 

SEE ALSO: more Kildare stories

Nationally casualty figures for 2019 show that while there has been a sharp drop in pedestrian deaths, down 15 or 36%, and passenger deaths, down 4 or 20%, the RSA said has been a worrying increase in the number of drivers killed, up 25 or 45%, compared to 2018.

 Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross, urged people to improve safety  “by slowing down, not driving while impaired through drink, drugs or fatigue, by not driving while using a phone, by wearing a seatbelt and always sharing the road more carefully with pedestrians and cyclists.”

RSA chairperson, Liz O’Donnell, said  this year, 2020, is also the final year of the Government’s eight year road safety strategy. “Its primary target is to reduce deaths to 124 or fewer by the end of 2020. Deeper collaboration between all agencies responsible for road safety is already taking place to ensure everything that can be done is being done, not only to reverse the increase in deaths this year, but to achieve the strategy target. And it is a target that is very achievable, put simply it means saving two more lives a month, every month next year. Something we should all work together to do in 2020.”

Ms. Moyagh Murdock, RSA said this year, it will “prioritise the non- wearing of seatbelts and intoxicated driving through alcohol or drugs. We will also focus on promoting the safety of vulnerable road users.

She said it will “continue to support garda enforcement of unaccompanied driving laws. In 2019 there were over 2,500 vehicles seized that were being driven by unaccompanied learner drivers. We will continue to target those who have been relying long-term on a learner permit. Driving test waiting times have never been lower with average waiting times of less than six weeks.”

Ms Murdock said the RSA is  hopeful that the package of measures, designed to end such practice and which are currently with the Department of Transport Tourism and Sport, will be introduced in 2020.

Assistant Garda Commissioner, Dave Sheehan, said an additional 180 Gardaí have been selected to be assigned to roads policing duties in early 2020. “Secondly, the roll out of the new mobility app will be stepped up so that by the end of 2020 there will be in excess of 4,000 devices in the hands of front line Gardaí. The new mobility app will revolutionise the way roads policing is carried out in this country.”