FTA Ireland says all road users must be more vigilant

Road users must take more responsibility for their actions to help improve road safety for all, said the Freight Transport Association Ireland (FTAI) today in response to recent figures reporting the number of drivers and passengers killed in Ireland has increased by a sixth.

In its end of year review of road crash statistics, the Road Safety Authority (RSA) reported the number of people killed on the roads rose to 189 in 2013 – up from 162 in 2012.

Responding to the RSA review, Neil McDonnell, FTA Ireland General Manager said: “The extent of the rise in fatalities is concerning, as it is more than simply a statistical fluctuation. The trend in fatalities has been consistently higher throughout 2013.”

FTA Ireland has long supported the RSA message warning drivers that the greatest danger they face on the roads is complacency, and the figures revealed in this report once again highlight the need for all road users to be more vigilant.

RSA Chairman, Gay Byrne, reacting to the figures, said that society had “dropped its guard” on the issue, and stated that the lack of Garda enforcement and resources was part of the reason road deaths were up.

Commenting on current levels of road traffic enforcement, Mr Byrne said this was only one aspect of road safety improvement, the other two being education and engineering. He added that drivers had to adopt a culture of personal responsibility- considering the consequences of their personal behaviour, rather than simply considering “the possibility of getting caught.

Mr McDonnell added: “Personal responsibility is key to the development of all successful safety cultures” McDonnell emphasised that enforcement on its own leads to an “I do it so I won’t get caught” attitude. While this has succeeded in driving the statistics down in the last few years, it won’t be enough to improve. To do so requires both private and professional drivers to think positively about their road behaviour: “I do it so I won’t get hurt”