Sinn Féin - On Your Side

100 road deaths - a tragic milestone says Crowe

3 April, 2006

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Transport, Seán Crowe has described the news that this weekend saw the 100th road fatality as a "tragic milestone, which should make us all, as individuals and collectively, sit up and take notice."

Deputy Crowe said, "The month of April has barely begun and already we have reached one hundred fatalities on our roads. It is a tragic milestone, which should make us all, as individuals and collectively, sit up and take notice. Behind every one of these deaths lies a devastated and heartbroken family trying to make sense of what is often a senseless and avoidable tragedy.

"However, there are measures we can adopt. There are things that can be done to prevent this carnage. Is it too much to ask that Garda resources be focused in an efficient and practical manner? Instead of adopting a "shooting fish in a barrel" approach in relation to setting up high visibility speed traps on our motorways shouldn't these resources be aimed at the areas and times when accidents are known to happen? Over 40% of accidents occur on just 7% of the roads in this state. Many of these accidents occur on non-primary routes, in the small hours of the morning as pubs and nightclubs shut. This is one area where the enforcement of existing regulations and laws needs to be rigorously pursued.

"There is also the outrageous issue of driving tests and the crazy number of learner drivers waiting to be tested with some of the 130,000 waiting up to a year. There is no excuse for this other than sheer incompetence on behalf of the Government. The time for PR stunts is over - real action is needed.

"At the current rate of fatalities we could be looking at well over 400 deaths by years end. That is over four hundred families traumatised through the loss of a loved one. That thought alone should be enough to make all of us behave in a more responsible way on our roads. For those who don't or won't then the full force of the law should be applied." ENDS

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