Limerick garda chief warns drivers ‘one risk can wreck lives’

Aine Fitzgerald

Reporter:

Aine Fitzgerald

Chief Supt Dave Sheahan
LIMERICK’s most senior garda has issued a stark warning to road users about their driving behaviour after the number of road fatalities more than doubled in 2014.

LIMERICK’s most senior garda has issued a stark warning to road users about their driving behaviour after the number of road fatalities more than doubled in 2014.

Last year there were 11 road deaths in the Limerick division compared to five in both 2013 and 2012.

New statistics which were revealed this week show that Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday were the most dangerous days of the week on Limerick roads in 2014 with seven people (64%) losing their life on those days.

The hours between 6am to 4pm were the most dangerous.

“We cannot become complacent in respect of the way we behave on the roads,” said Chief Superintendent David Sheahan this Wednesday, hours after four young women lost their lives in a horror crash in County Kildare.

“There is an onus on everyone to reduce their speeds, certainly not drink and drive, wear their seat belts and to desist from using a mobile phone while driving,” he added.

Of the 11 people who lost their lives on Limerick roads, two were pedal cyclists (18%), and five were drivers (45%) while one was a passenger (9%), and three were pedestrians (27%).

While Chief Superintendent Sheahan said there has been a “tremendous response” by the public to the way in which they have changed their behaviour over the last number of years “every death is one death too many”.

Drink driving and texting while driving he said remain problem areas.

“Up to the end of November drink driving arrests in the Limerick Division was up 6% on last year. In my view, any increase in the numbers of drink drivers being detected is a worrying trend. I would have to warn all road users that the chances of getting caught are far greater now than they ever were.

“If you are texting while driving, you are distracted, and it only takes a second to be involved in a fatal traffic accident or for a serious accident that could wreck the rest of your life to occur. It’s not worth taking that risk,” added Superintendent Sheahan.

RSA figures show 196 people died nationwide on the roads in 2014. Limerick was fifth on a county to county list - Dublin had 28 road deaths last year.