New Garda figures show that road safety message not sinking in! - Clune
As Garda figures show that over 800 people per month on average getting caught for not wearing a seatbelt, Clune backs calls by ETSC to tackle serious road injuries by adopting new EU targets.
Figures from the Gardai show that 17 people have lost their lives on our roads so far in 2016. That is 3 people more than this time last year. The same figures show that over 800 people on average every month are getting fixed notices for not wearing a seatbelt. Ireland South MEP and member of the EU transport committee Deirdre Clune expressed her disappointment with the figures as she backed calls by the European Transport Safety Council to develop new EU targets to reduce the amount of people who are seriously injured on our roads in Europe annually.
“If we look at the amount of people still not wearing seatbelts in Ireland, it is frightening. Figures from the Gardai show that there were 776 people prosecuted for not wearing a seat belt last October alone. The figures for September and August were 871 and 837 prosecutions respectively. They are only the ones getting stopped by Gardai!
“Among drivers and front-seat passengers, studies have consistently shown that seat belts reduce the risk of death by 45%, and cut the risk of serious injury by 50%. Across Europe last year, 25,845 people died on our roads but what is less reported is that 203,500 were seriously injured on Europe’s roads. Many of them were not wearing seat belts. Since 2010 the number of people seriously injured on EU roads has been reduced by just 1.6%, compared to an 18% decrease in the number of road deaths. In 2014 the numbers seriously injured actually went up, by more than 3% compared to the previous year.
“The principal of a separate target for reducing serious injuries was agreed five years ago by all of the three main EU institutions. In a vote last September on a review of European transport policy, the European Parliament also reiterated earlier calls for, “the swift adoption of a 2020 target of a 40 % reduction in the number of people seriously injured, accompanied by a fully-fledged EU strategy. A target was finally expected to be set in the first half of 2015, having been promised ‘shortly’ in a Commission press release of 24 March 2015. But the European Commission backtracked, and it is now unclear when the target will be set.
“I support the ETSC in their endeavours to push for new EU targets to decrease the amount of serious injuries on our EU roads annually. I would call for tougher penalties for those caught not wearing their seat belts, both front and rear. The burden of serious injuries on our roads is borne, not just by our hospitals, but by the countless families who are nursing RTA victims back to health.