Last year 2011 was a great year for the Road Safety Authority given the reduction in road fatalities to their lowest level ever. The year finished with 186 persons having lost their life which was down from 212 on the previous year 2012 the lowest year on record up to that date.
Last St Patrick’s Weekend however at the time was a different scenario. Six persons lost their lives on the roads between the 16th March and the 20th March 2011, which was a 50% increase on the previous holiday period of 2010.
Serious collisions for the holiday in 2011 were also up by 20% and it was reported at the time that 5,000 drivers were caught speeding. Surprisingly drink driving and drug driving offences only recorded a 3% increase however a high profile awareness campaign was launched around the time with a huge increase in Garda checkpoints. This year 2012 looks like being an even greater year in terms of Ireland’s road safety record with road deaths also down by almost 33% on 2011 figures at the time of writing.
Sceptics would argue that the traffic volume is dramatically reduced due to economic influences even more so than last year but what will be interesting if this is the case is to observe the effects the data on March 20th this year and see if we have maintained this downward trend. It will also be interesting to see if there is a much an emphasis on enforcement this year again because of economic pressures.