Eight people were killed on Galway’s roads last year out of 148 road deaths nationwide according to the Road Safety Authority.
The number of of road deaths climbed by 4 percent in 2019, but those figures are sharply divided by the type of incident which occurred.
Pedestrian deaths fell by 36 percent nationwide, while the number of vehicle passengers killed in traffic incidents also dropped by a fifth.
However the number of driver deaths rose by a staggering 45 percent over the same period, with 25 more drivers killed last year than in 2018.
The last fatality on Galway’s roads of the year was a 52 year old woman who was struck by a car while out walking in Oughterard on Christmas Eve night.
She passed away due to her injuries at University Hospital Galway after two days on St. Stephen’s Day.
Chairperson of the RSA Liz O’Donnell said it is “deeply saddening” to have seen an increase in road deaths in 2019, after the previous year had been the safest ever recorded.
“We must respond to this increase the same way we have responded to previous setbacks. Rather than being disheartened it should spur us and our road safety partners into renewed effort.
The government’s eight year road safety strategy is coming to close in 2020, and its target of cutting road deaths to 124 of fewer by the end of this year would be a highly challenging target.
“Deeper collaboration between all agencies responsible for road safety is already taking place to ensure everything that can be done is being done, not only to reverse the increase in deaths this year, but to achieve the strategy target.
“And it is a target that is very achievable, put simply it means saving two more lives a month, every month next year. Something we should all work together to do in 2020.”
The county with the most road deaths last year was Dublin, where 19 people lost their lives in traffic incidents.
This was followed by Cork (16), Tipperary (13), and Galway/Donegal with eight apiece. Laois, Longford, Leitrim, Sligo, and Westmeath had the safest roads in 2019, with just one fatality each.
Garda Assistant Commissioner Dave Sheehan said that roads policing will remain a strategic priority in 2020, benefiting from the addition of 180 new officers assigned to road duty, and the roll out of the new mobility app to officers.