THERE was a 44% rise in road deaths in Cork in 2022, as the county tied with Dublin for the highest numbers of recorded road fatalities last year.
Provisional figures released by the Road Safety Authority, which analyse fatal collision reports from An Garda Síochána, show that a total of 155 people died in fatal road collisions last year, an increase of 13% on 2021.
In Cork, 13 people died in road collisions in 2022, a 44% increase on 9 deaths in 2021.
Cork tied with Dublin for the county with the most recorded fatal road collisions in 2022, however, Dublin has seen a decrease in fatalities, from 21 deaths in 2021 to 13 last year.
Liz O’Donnell, chairperson of the RSA, said we “must get back on track and reverse the increase in deaths”.
“All of us must accept greater responsibility when using the road and become custodians and champions for safety on the road,”
she said, adding that actions in the Road Safety Strategy must be progressed.
Ireland’s fifth government Road Safety Strategy 2021-2030 sets out targets to reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries on Irish roads by 50% by 2030.
Where it was possible to establish the use of a seatbelt or not among drivers and passengers, RSA figures for 2022 found that one in five drivers and passengers killed in road collisions were not wearing a seatbelt.
Of fatalities, 73% occurred on rural roads, and 78% of deaths were male versus 22% female.
A third (33%) of fatalities were aged 35 years or younger, and almost a third (31%) of fatalities were aged over 66.
Figures also indicate that the number of pedestrians killed in 2022 doubled compared to 2021, having increased from 20 deaths to 41 deaths.
“Sadly, 2022 saw a rise in fatalities and serious injuries on our roads,” said Assistant Commissioner Paula Hilman, of An Garda Síochána’s Roads Policing and Community Engagement division.
“We think of the families, friends and communities impacted by such devastating loss and injury,” she added.
Assistant Commissioner Hilman said that during 2022, almost 200,000 speeding offences were detected, more than 5,800 were detected for not wearing a seatbelt, over 18,200 people were caught using their mobile phones, and over 9,100 people were arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated through drink or drugs or a combination of both.
Minister of State at the Department of Transport Jack Chambers said he is “very concerned that so many lives have been lost on the roads in 2022”.