Belfast Telegraph

Irish roads sixth safest in EU

Ireland has the sixth best road safety record in Europe after virtually halving the number of deaths in 10 years.

An assessment of the European Union 27 states showed Irish authorities, motorists and other road users have helped cut deaths from 411 in 2001 to 212 last year.

The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) ranked Ireland a record high of sixth - up one place from the 2010 rating.

Noel Brett, Road Safety Authority (RSA) chief executive, praised road users but warned against complacency.

"Yet again road users in Ireland have shown that by taking road safety into the heart of their communities, many lives can be saved and injuries prevented," he said.

"Your achievement is remarkable and you have become an example to the rest of Europe and indeed the world by your responsible actions on the roads.

"But these achievements can be easily taken away from us if we allow ourselves to become complacent. There is still a big gap between Ireland and the safest countries in Europe."

The ETSC report found 10 other countries achieved or improved on Ireland's 48% reduction in road deaths since 2001.

Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Spain, Luxembourg, Sweden, France and Slovenia all reached the European Commission target of a 50% reduction in road deaths by 2010.

Although Ireland fell just short, the cut in the road death rate was above the EU average of 43%.

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