Liz O'Donnell of the RSA said “2016 has been a very bad year for road safety in Ireland"
2016 saw a 15% rise in the number of deaths on our roads, according to figures released today.
The provisional statistics from the Road Safety Authority (RSA) show 187 people have lost their lives on the roads over the last 12 months - compared to 162 fatalities in 2015.
82 drivers and 37 passengers lost their lives, while there were 35 pedestrians, 21 motorcyclists and 10 pedal cyclists killed. One pillion passenger and one sulky passenger were also killed, the figures show.
Both the RSA and Minister for Transport Shane Ross have described the rise in road deaths as concerning.
RSA chairperson Liz O'Donnell described 2016 as "a very bad year for road safety in Ireland".
Minister Ross said: “I am very saddened by such a huge loss of life on our roads in 2016. I am also acutely aware that these are more than just numbers. They represent someone’s son, daughter, brother, sister, father or mother.
"If anything is to come from such a tragic loss of life it is that it should serve as a reminder to us all that the road is a shared space, and that we have a duty of care towards each other every time we use the road. I can assure you that this Government is determined to do all it can to reverse the increase in road casualties witnessed this year and to improving safety overall on our roads," he added.
Moyagh Murdock, RSA Chief Executive, suggested that “in spite of the progress we have made in road safety over the past decade we are still seeing the same three killer behaviours, of alcohol, speed and non-seatbelt wearing, or more commonly a combination of all three having a devastating effect on innocent lives.
"I am particularly concerned about the role of alcohol in crashes. Arrest figures for the last six weeks of the Garda Christmas and New Year crackdown show that the attitudes and behaviour of a small number in our society hasn’t changed significantly. Their behaviour continues to have a disproportionate impact on road safety."