Ireland named second safest European Union Member State in 2018
Ireland has today been named the winner of this year’s prestigious European Transport Safety Council Road Safety Performance Index (PIN) award. The annual award is presented to a European country that has demonstrated continued progress on road safety combined with a strategic approach to tackling the problem across government. The award will be presented to Shane Ross, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport at an event in Brussels later today.
Ireland was the second safest European Union Member State in 2018, in terms of road mortality (road deaths per million inhabitants) and has moved up five places in the ranking of EU countries since 2010 when it held seventh place. In terms of numbers killed, Ireland has cut annual deaths by more than 30% since 2010. By comparison, deaths increased in other relatively safe countries over the same period including Sweden and the Netherlands.
Mr. Shane Ross, Minister for Transport Tourism and Sport, said: “The achievement of this Road Safety Pin Award is recognition of the ongoing dedication to road safety by many in this country in helping to reduce fatalities and serious injuries on our roads. It is heartening to see that Ireland has now been recognised as the second safest European Union Member State in 2018, demonstrating the significant progress made to date. Government policy and investment is working in this area but we cannot be complacent and need to keep road safety to the fore of public consciousness.
"I would particularly like to pay tribute to the Irish road victims groups who have worked tirelessly to highlight the tragic impact that road fatalities have on families. I salute their courage, dedication and selflessness and would like to dedicate this award to them.”
The award recognised the impact of Ireland’s long-term strategic planning to cut road fatalities, regular evaluation and a multi-agency approach to delivery across government. In particular, it highlighted the efforts that have been put in place on tackling dangerous speeding, as well as drink-driving.
Since receiving its first PIN award in 2010, Ireland has seen a further 31% reduction in road deaths during the period 2010 to 2018 and 6% reduction from 2017 to 2018. This equates to a reduction in road deaths per million population from 47 to 30 in 2018.
Antonio Avenoso, European Transport Safety Council, Executive Director commented: “Ireland has made great progress on road safety in recent years, while at the same time recognising areas where it still needs to do more – such as improving the safety of cycling. What stands out is the strategic approach: analysing the data, setting targets, and making sure the job gets done. If every country in Europe could get to the same level of safety as Ireland, we could cut road deaths by 40%. As it is, many countries are standing still and even going backwards. We can learn a lot from Ireland’s approach – it’s a model for the European Union.”
Ms. Moyagh Murdock, Chief Executive, RSA said: “This European road safety award is testament to the impact of Ireland’s long-term strategic planning to cut road fatalities, undertake regular evaluation and a multi-agency approach to delivery across government. In particular, it highlighted the effectiveness of efforts that have been put in place to tackle killer behaviours such as dangerous speeding and drink-driving. The commitment of road users to changing these behaviours and the support and work of NGO advocacy groups, who have been to the forefront in advocating for change to road traffic legislation has to be acknowledged as key to the progress that has been making Irish roads safer for all road users.. As we look forward, it is so important that we do not get complacent and that we all play our part to make our roads safer.”
Progress in Ireland stands in contrast to relative stagnation in the EU as a whole. The numbers killed on EU roads fell by just 1% last year, and by just 4% over the last five years, according to the latest European Transport Safety Council Road Safety Performance Index Annual Report which was published today. The report can be downloaded from the ETSC website at: http://www.etsc.eu/pin13