THE head of the divisional traffic corps says 2013 was a “very good year for road safety” across Limerick.
While there were six fatalities last year, an increase of one compared to 2012, the figure is still significantly down on 2009, when there were 23 deaths on Limerick roads.
While six people lost their lives in accidents in Limerick last year, the number of fatal accidents – five – was the same as in 2012.“We had one accident in January in which two elderly brothers died,” explained Inspector Paul Reidy.
Last year’s fatal road accidents happened at Lisnagry, Lough Gur, Athea, Bruff and at Corbally Road in the city.
Four of the six fatalities were as a result of multi-vehicle collisions, while the other two followed single-vehicle accidents.
In addition to the five fatal accidents in 2013, there were 16 serious injury collisions during the year as well as more than 250 collisions involving non-serious injuries. This was on a par with the figures for 2012.
“Our main focus is to try and keep road deaths down and it is a significant achievement to keep the number of fatalities in single figures, although six people are dead in Limerick who should be alive,” said Insp Reidy.
The number of motorists breathalysed on the roadside rose by 6% last year compared to 2012 - largely due to an increased number of Mandatory Alcohol Testing (MAT) checkpoints.
However, the number of detections for drink driving offences was down compared to recent years. Speed and the use of mobile phones by drivers while behind the wheel remain concerns for gardai.
“The use of phones is a major concern, it is a major distraction and can be lethal,” said Insp Reidy, who added that an average of around 1,600 speeding offences were detected by gardai across Limerick each month during 2013.
The number of detections relating to the road transport sector increased by 5% last year due to a concerted effort by members of the divisional traffic corps.