EIGHTEEN people lost their lives on Cork’s roads in 2022, and behind each statistic is a real grieving family, heard last week’s meeting of the Joint Policing Committee (JPC).
Garda figures relating to the first 12 road deaths, showed that 10 were males, consisting of two motorcyclists, one mobility scooter, and seven motor vehicle drivers. Two were female pedestrians.
Three deceased were aged 18-35, one was aged 36-50, five were 51-69, and three were aged over 70. The average age of the victims was 54.5 years.
Two of these fatalities occurred between the hours of midnight and 7am, nine occurred between 7am and 7pm, and there was one between 7pm and midnight.
“This is affecting everyone,” said Chief Supt Vincent O’Sullivan. “There is no discrimination as regards the dangers that our roads pose for everyone.”
Single-vehicle collisions accounted for half of all fatalities.
“Our message is to remind people never to drink while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
“Speed is a factor in one third of fatal collisions in Ireland.
“Reduce your speed. The speed limit is not a target,” he said.
“You read the conditions.
“Surprisingly, people are still not wearing their seatbelts.
“Don’t use handheld devices while driving and don’t ignore the effects of fatigue.”
People should plan their nights out, and don’t be afraid to ask a partner to drive you home, said Chief Supt O’Sullivan.
Behind the numbers are “real people” with every family suffering a loss.
“It is the worst possible news for those families,” said Padraig Barrett, Cork County Council’s Director of Services, Roads and Transportation.
“It’s the second worst year in Cork County over the last 11 years.
“It’s quite a bad statistic.”
Unfortunately, there is no “magic wand” to counter the rise in the death toll, but driver behaviour is a significant element in the accident statistics, he said.
Works were carried out at 21 county locations in 2022 to address potential hazards at certain sites, with high accident rates.
These schemes addressed issues such as crash barrier installations, minor road realignment, junction realignment and removal of ditches to improve exit visibility and to improve forward visibility, installation of controlled pedestrian crossings, traffic calming measures, speed limit signs, and provision of footpaths.