The RSA have released their Annual Report for 2007 and it makes for some interesting reading. To download the pdf Click Here
First of the RSA (Road Safety Authority) came into force back in 2006 their main duty being "tasked with improving safety on our roads in order to reduce death and injury resulting from road collisions" and the legal basis being set out in the Road Safety Authority Act 2006. So with only one year of operation before these figures were collected it is debatable how much of an impact they could have had, but here are some of the figures and we can see how things are going for motorcyclists specifically.
First off some 31 motorcyclists were killed on the roads in 2007, the 335 deaths are broken down as follows:
Pedal Cyclists 15
On the positive side the amount of road users between 1997-2007 went up by approx 1 million, while deaths per year have dropped from approx 450-335 over the same period. The RSA aims to get this down to 252 by 2012, in line with EU targets.
So how do we compare with the rest of Europe? These are rated by road deaths per million and Ireland comes in at 9th place with 79. Though 1st place is Malta with 34, while the Sweden (considered one of the 'best practice' states) is 4th with 53. The UK is 3rd with 51.
Some other figures of interest, the average waiting time for a test was 18.9 weeks, of which 54.8% (or 197,866) of applicants would go on to pass. While there are just over 2.5 million licensed drivers, of which some 427,724 are provisional drivers!
They do mention that a consultation regarding the introduction of the CBT (Compulsory Basic Training) but no date is referred to regarding the end of this process. Though I am very disappointed to note that % wise motorcyclists faired worse in the driver theory test with just 60.24% passed, compared to cars at 63.92%, Buses at 66.74% and Trucks at 67.31%.
It is good to see a Road Safety Transition Year Programme for secondary school students but to be honest this really needs to become a mandatory for all second level students as road transport will be just an important part of their lives. Never mind here at home but when trying to travel abroad and so on. This would be an obvious key life skill. There is a third level programmes too but DCU (Dublin City University) is not a member of the USI so I can not provide any first hand experience, which is a real shame.
So that is the guts of it, there is loads of other miscellaneous figures but I think I picked out some of the more interesting. They have a series of publications upcoming, including a comparison between provisional drivers and full license holders which should proves interesting!
Again, head over to the RSA website for more information and to keep up-to-date.