Belfast Telegraph

Gardai issue plea on road safety

More than one in 10 drivers and passengers killed on Irish roads were not wearing a seatbelt.

As figures show eight more people have died in crashes compared to this time last year, gardai warned many people continue to speed as well as drive while drunk, tired or using a mobile phone.

The latest victim, a motorist, was killed near Smithborough, Co Monaghan.

Gardai called on all road users to take extra care and revealed more motorcyclists have lost their lives so far this year compared to the whole of 2012.

Chief Superintendent Michael O'Sullivan said: "There is no doubt that excessive or inappropriate speed plays a significant factor in collisions, and in particular what happens to those involved.

"We know from our analysis that four out of five fatal road traffic collisions are occurring on roads with a speed limit of 80km/h (50mph) or more.

"Reducing your speed, and ensuring you and all your passengers wear a seatbelt, could be the difference between life and death."

A total of 119 people have been killed on Irish roads so far this year, with 277 suffering serious injuries.

The death toll includes 62 drivers, 19 passengers, 15 pedestrians, four cyclists, 17 motorcyclists and two pillion passengers - compared to 16 motorcyclists killed last year.

Figures show July was the worst month of the year for road deaths, when 18 people died, with Friday afternoons and evenings the single worse time for fatal collisions when one in five were killed.

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