Road fatalities increased by six percent in Ireland in 2020 but there were 25 percent fewer serious and minor injury collisions recorded, according to latest figures.

The provisional statistics, published by the Road Safety Authority (RSA), following an analysis of An Garda Síochána fatal collision reports reveal that, in 2020, a total of 149 people lost their lives on Ireland’s roads as a result of 138 fatal crashes. The figure compares to 140 lives lost in 129 fatal crashes in 2019.

“I am saddened by the increase in road deaths, particularly following on from the two safest years on record for road fatalities in 2018 and 2019,” said Liz O’Donnell, Chairperson of the RSA.

But O’Donnell says that, overall, Ireland’s strategy to reduce road trauma is working. Between 2013 and 2019, there was a 26 percent reduction in road traffic fatalities, compared to just a six percent reduction across Europe.

“Thanks to the success of the current road safety strategy (2013 – 2020) and the compliance of road users Ireland is viewed as a leader in road safety and is ranked as second safest in the EU and fourth globally,” she added.

“It is important to acknowledge that many lives have been saved and the next strategy now being prepared will build on this progress.”