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'Road fatalities are preventable' - Shane Ross commemorates 'World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims'

24,255 people have been killed on Irish roads since records began.

They are being remembered today as part of 'World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims'.

Commemorations are taking place globally for those injured or killed in road traffic collisions.

Brian Farrell from the Road Safety Authority said it also provides a chance to review road safety.

He said: "It's an opportunity for us all to remember those who have been killed in road accidents, to remember those who have been seriously injured too, and of course their families, the families who have been left behind.

"We acknowledge the pain and suffering of the families, and critically, we want to use the day as an opportunity, as a catalyst really, for everyone out there to reflect on their own road-user behaviour and look at making small changes to the way we use the roads."

Minister for Transport, Shane Ross, said: "For the majority of Irish people, it will pass unnoticed. They will not stop to mourn and miss loved ones, nor wonder “if only” or “what if”. Yet up and down the country there are hundreds, thousands of people doing just that.

"Families, friends, colleagues and communities, all are mourning the loss of a loved one – an unnecessary loss that should never have happened.

“If only the driver of the other car had not had that second pint”. “What if the other car had kept to the speed limit?” “If only she had worn her hi-vis jacket”. “What if he had put his seat belt on?”

"Far too many people are asking these questions, not just today, but every day as they struggle to cope with the tragedy that took their loved one from them. 24,255 people have died since the recording of fatalities began in 1959."

This year 130 families have lost a loved one in a road traffic collision.

Mr Ross said: "This is not acceptable. Add in their friends, colleagues and communities and thousands are suffering. In just one year.

"Today, please spare a moment to think of them and the loved ones they have lost. And then remember that it didn’t have to be like this. Road fatalities are preventable. Totally preventable. Which makes them all the more tragic.

"This winter – don’t drink and drive. Wear your seat belt. Look out for cyclists and pedestrians. Don’t use a phone while driving. Heed the speed limit. Keep yourself and others alive this winter.”

- Digital Desk