Road deaths are up 35 per cent nationally for the month of January 2011, when compared with January of the previous year. Concern has been expressed at this sharp increase in road deaths by MEP for Ireland North West Jim Higgins.
“Last year was the best year on record for road deaths in Ireland, with a total of 212 deaths. This of course is 212 deaths too many, but at least we were heading in the right direction. I am deeply concerned by these new figures which show that deaths are up 35 per cent nationally for the month of January,” he said addressing the European Parliament in Brussels. “Whether public service cut-backs are leading to less Gardai being available to enforce our rules, or whether it is just complacency on the part of motorists, we must stay focused on cutting the carnage.”
Mr Higgins then advised the parliament that he remembered when penalty points were introduced in 2003.
“There was an immediate, sharp, decrease in deaths. There was a feeling that we were moving in the right direction, so that was enough. But the eye was taken off the ball, and sure enough, after year one, we saw the figures rise to pre-penalty point levels,” he said.