ROAD traffic accidents in Limerick have fallen by more than a third over the past five years, according to new figures.
Figures from Limerick County Fire and Rescue Service show they attended 223 traffic collisions in 2007 but that number has decreased each year since and last year stood at 143.
This, the report concluded, was a drop of 36% and a very significant decrease.
Ken Crowley, senior assistant chief fire officer, described the trend as “extremely encouraging.”
“A considerable amount of work is being carried by the emergency services to further enhance fire and road safety awareness,” he said, “and the effectiveness of these schemes are reflected in the relevant figures for the five-year period.”
One of these schemes is the Lifesaver Project, aimed at Limerick’s secondary schools, where young drives are educated about the important of road safety. “Whilst the emergency services are continuing to focus on further improving their response to emergency incidents, these figures are extremely encouraging and point to increased road safety awareness amongst members of the public,” he said,
Meanwhile, in a bid to further improve response to road traffic incidents and to enhance co-operation, an inter-services drill exercise took place last week at Aughinish.
The exercise drill included fire fighters, doctors and paramedics from Limerick County Fire and Rescue Serivce, the national ambulance service, and the mid-west GP training scheme.
The new HSE Air ambulance service, based in Athlone was also involved - although the helicopter has been withdrawn from service following a forced landing in Co Tipperary earlier this week after it collided with overhead cables. An enquiry is now to take place.
The simulated emergency at Aughinish helped to challenge and further enhance the reaction of the emergency services to road traffic incidents, Mr Crowley said.