Donegal road deaths double in first half of year

Donegal road deaths double in first half of year
MEP Jim Higgins says lack of enforcement is a “major factor” in fatalities increase.

MEP Jim Higgins says lack of enforcement is a “major factor” in fatalities increase.

Jim Higgins, Ireland North West MEP, has expressed huge concern at news that six people lost their lives on the county’s roads in the first six months of this year, compared to three deaths during the same period last year.

Mr Higgins, who is Ireland’s Member of the European Parliament Transport Committee, was commenting on figures released by the Road Safety Association.

He believes more gardaí are needed on our roads. “I am concerned that the lack of a Garda presence on our roads in Co. Donegal is resulting in more people losing their lives in 2013 so far. I want to see this trend reversed. We also need to cooperation of all road users - motorists, pedestrians and cyclists alike in order to drive deaths down. I want to see this latest trend stopped, and visible traffic units mounted more often in the county.”

Nationally, figures remain stable compared to last year, with an increase of just two deaths from 92 to 94 deaths for the first six months. “Last year was the safest year ever on Irish roads, with 161 people losing their lives, thanks to the work of the RSA and the public’s cooperation. We need to make sure 2013 is even safer, and stop the bloody slaughter,” said the FG MEP.

Mr Higgins paid particular tribute to the work of the RSA saying “Since the RSA was set up in 2006, the number of lives lost has been falling year on year. This has been due to a combination of driver education, hard hitting ads, better enforcement, new driving tests and licences, the NCT and penalty points.

“From being one of the most dangerous countries a decade ago, we are now the 4th safest country in the EU in which to drive - this is no small achievement. That said, we need to focus on blackspots like Donegal and reverse this latest trend.”