Ireland named as fourth safest country in EU for road deaths

Ireland named as fourth safest country in EU for road deaths

A new report compiled by the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) found that Ireland is in the top 5 countries.

Ireland moved up one position following a decline in road deaths between the years of 2016 and 2017.

186 people lost their lives on Irish roads in 2016 while in 2017, the number of deaths on the road dropped to 157.

The 29 fewer road deaths or a 16% reduction in road casualties has seen Ireland jump to fourth place in the stakes of safest EU countries to drive in.

According to the new index, Ireland's implementation of improved legislation, such as new drug driving laws, greater traffic law enforcement activities and road safety campaigns played a part in reducing the number of road deaths.

The improved position in the list was attributed to an increased number of road traffic police by 10% annually until 2020, from 681 officers in 2017 to 997 in 2020.

Moyagh Murdock, of the Irish Road Safety Authority, said that while the report was good news, Ireland still had work to do to improve road safety: "Ireland is still a long way off achieving its road safety targets as set out in the Government Road Safety Strategy 2013 to 2020.

"The Strategy has set the task of making Ireland’s roads as safe as the best-performing countries in the European Union, specifically to reduce road deaths on Irish roads to 124 or fewer by 2020...

"This means there must be a further 22% reduction in road deaths on 2017 numbers over the next three years," she added.