History of road fatalities 2010-2012
2010: 212 road users died on Irelands roads, 10 more than the 202 recorded in 1932, 70 years earlier and 8,272 road users were injured, higher than the 6,110 recorded in 1967, but lower than the 9,716 recorded in 1968, 42 years earlier. Gardai issued 683,402 of the 2.5m registered drivers with penalty points.
- There were 42 offences in the penalty point system in Ireland, with 3 involving safety belts. Safety belts do not prevent crashes. In three crashes where safety belts were used, 8 of the 11 car occupants were drowned or burned alive and not saved by safety belts.
In the 2010 Review of Pre-crash Behaviour in Fatal Road Crashes Report 1: Alcohol, Gardai claimed there were 990 fatal crashes, but removed 212 before allowing the RSA to examine only 778. Garda Collision Prone Zones had statistics which were 4 times lower than recorded in Germany and the UK which were replaced with Speed Collision Zones now showing the map grid number and not the road name, after I queried their accuracy.
The European Union Responded to my Research Discovery
On 13 02 2010, Subject: Out of Office AutoReply: TRENmailbox/2010-1231/E3/T/IRL/CULLINANE
Follow Up Flag: Follow up; Flag Status: Red. I will be back next Tuesday. In case of urgent matters, please contact… Jacqueline Tromm tel +32.2.298.8540 or Dana Dimonie tel +32.2.298.5164. JP Repussard.
On 24 02 2010, Jean-Paul REPUSSARD, Directorate General for Mobility & Transport, Unit D3 - Road Safety - European Commission, office DM24 02/102, B-1049 Brussels responded; We have taken good note of your developments and I forward them for consideration to my colleagues who are currently working on a possible European harmonisation (and upgrading) of the training for drivers.
- This did not appear to happen, TRL continued to mislead the EC, so road fatalities continued.
- In 2019, the European Commission Launched Vision Zero 2050.
On 24 02 2010, Superintendent Declan O’Brien responded; In your correspondence to the Garda Commissioner you raise concerns regarding stopping distances and reaction times. These are issues for the Road Safety Authority who have statutory responsibility in this area under the Road Traffic Act 2006 (and would be more appropriately dealt with by them). It is not the intention of the Garda Siochana to recommend any changes to the speed limit on the Ballymun Road and any enforcement in this area will be intelligence led or based on operational requirements.
Gardai were 88 years investigating road fatalities and enforcing incorrect 50 km/h speed Limits as they differed with the RSA and PSNI, as they used many of the TRL different stopping formulas as follows:
Civilian Road deaths involving Garda Drivers
Christopher Moore 3 years and 11 months on 25 05 1997, Dean Ward 7 years on 08 03 2008, Mary Seavers 74 years on 15 05 2005, Clare Barr 77 years on 21 09 2007 and Elizabeth Core 75 years on 28 08 2014 are but 5 fatal crashes involving Garda drivers and civilian pedestrians. Garda drivers stopped 20 metres after impact, pedestrians were catapulted 20 metres after impact, and it was claimed the steering locked in one case while Garda Drivers and Garda Crash Investigating Experts disagree during the past 22 years. There was no evidence that the steering was faulty. This was more than likely caused by a ‘brain bottleneck’ which prevents some drivers from doing two things at the same time at speed as described by; René Marois and Paul E. Dux or the Mysterious Workings and late Development of the Adolescent Brain as described by Sarah-Jane Blakemore, and
The Garda Ombudsman was now investigating nine cases where 10 people had died. Superintendent Declan O’Brien appeared to be mistaken, as the Garda Mission Statements are “Working with Communities to Protect and Serve” and “To deliver professional policing and security services with the trust, confidence and support of the people we serve”, while the RSA Mission Statement is ‘Working to Save Lives’.
04 03 2010: I again brought my research discovery to the attention of Superintendent Declan O’Brien Ref; TB5/112/08 for the attention of the Garda Commissioner and included the 20 pages of Collision Prone Zones which had a similar number of injury crashes on many roads but were now removed from the Garda web page. Gardai had firstly contacted me by telephone as to where I got my information and statistics. I delivered this letter and the list of Collision Prone Zones by hand to the Garda Depot, Phoenix Park.
On 22 June 2010 in Brussels, Ireland and Estonia won Awards for their sustained efforts in reducing road deaths. However, there were only 31 injuries recorded for each fatality in Ireland and 19 injuries for each fatality in Estonia as compared with 85 to 1 in Germany and 90 to 1 in the UK. I brought these statistics to the attention of the Gardai and the European Union and suggested that Germany and the UK should learn about reducing road traffic injuries from Ireland and Estonia.
Gardai had responded by replacing Collision Prone Zones with Speed Collision Zones, while the EU now has a long-term Strategic Action Plan to halve road deaths by 2030. and later, ‘Near Vision Zero’ by 2050. By 2050, one third of the world’s population will probably have died from natural causes and 75m will have died in road collisions, with approximately 100 injuries for each fatality.
On 17 12 2010, Assistant Garda Commissioner John Twomey who had replaced Assistant Commissioner Eddie Rock said; the SHARP decline in people being killed or seriously injured on the roads in recent weeks has been attributed to the introduction of new speed cameras, but he soon changed his view.
On 20 12 2010, Assistant Commissioner John Twomey responded to my queries posed 9 months earlier; The concerns raised by you regarding stopping distances and reaction times would be more appropriately addressed by the Road Safety Authority, but
- Gardai investigating fatal crashes for 88 years since 1922 should know the stopping distances and taking 9 months to issue a response is unacceptable.
2011: 186 road users died in Ireland and 7,707 were injured. (41 to 1), like that recorded in 1931. Gardai removed 14 fatal crashes from official daily statistics, 212 from 990 before the RSA could examine them and removed the 1922 to 1959 statistics, showing that 184 fatalities were recorded in 1931 or 80 years earlier. 859,256 of the 2.7m drivers in Ireland received penalty points with most for the offence of speeding.
2011:RSA Road Collision Facts; 19% of car drivers and 5% of front seat car passengers killed in fatal collisions were not using a seat belt, however in 53.1% of fatal and injury collisions a seat belt was in use, it was unknown if seat belts were in use or not in 41.4% of fatal and injury cases while a seat belt was not in use in 2% of cases. 40% of fatalities involved a single vehicle. 158 of the 186 fatalities occurred on two-way roads, with 28 on one-way roads. Driver error accounted for 84% of fatalities. 52% of the two car fatalities went to the wrong side of the road.
- Road Safety is lost in a mountain of contradictory Statistics.
- We must heed the findings of Marois, Dux and Sarah-Jane Blakemore on ‘Brain Bottlenecks’.
In 2011, Gardai checked 1,300 drivers and found 8 were over the alcohol allowed limit, but some were so little over the limit at the scene that they were under the limit on arrival at the Garda Station. I suggested that all cars should be fitted with breathalysers in the interest of road safety, as the arrested driver would not have driven if she thought she was over the alcohol allowed limit. Gardai overestimated Mandatory Alcohol Tests by almost 2m and don’t know how or why this happened.
In 2005, Ireland had 256 kilometres of motorways, which increased to 918 kilometres by 2011 and is the reason road fatalities decreased. Garda patrol car crashes at 350 in 2005 had increased to 667 by 2011 and 2,657 compensation claims were outstanding.
The Road Safety Authority
In 2011, Gardai misled Noel Brett the RSA CEO and Gay Byrne the RSA Chair. Both claimed in the RSA Annual Report, and Road Collision Facts 2011 that it was the sixth year in a row for reductions in road fatalities and a fourth successive year to achieve the lowest number of deaths on the roads since records began in 1959. Brett believed that Ireland could have the safest roads in the world before 2020 and that 2011 will be remembered as the year that we finally got to grips with the scourge of drinking driving and the launch of EDT was a significant achievement.
- Brett and Byrne were misled by TRL on stopping distances and on statistics by Gardai.
Essential Driver Training to Protect Learner Drivers Launched by the RSA 04 04 2011
Essential Driver Training EDT to be taught in 12 hours was introduced by the Road Safety Authority on the 04 04 2011 having commissioned Dr Charles Johnson Competence Assurance Systems in 2008. Driving could not be taught in 2 hours with dual controls in 1899 or in 12 EDT lessons in 2011, so road fatalities resulting in death, injury and damage continued.
Review of Essential Driver Training
In 2012, Laura Brooks and Dr Charles Johnson, Competence Assurance Systems conducted an Independent Review of EDT for Michael Dolan the RSA Chief Driving Tester.
- A Review by the Author, Dr Charles Johnson was not independent.
- Allowing the Review of a flwaed system using flawed Reference Books was an RSA mistake.
- Michael Dolan retired and the RSA removed the Review from their web page.
15 03 2011, Assistant Commissioner John Twomey responded; the increase in fatalities on our roads to date this year is a cause of great concern to us in An Garda Síochána.
On 18 10 2011, Assistant Commissioner John Twomey responded; I have had your correspondence “The Driving Scorecard System” examined by the Garda Driving School. The Garda Driving School is of the view that your book is more relevant to learner drivers than to Garda Driver Training. The RSA have statutory responsibility in the area of Road Safety Authority Act 2006, however
In 2011, Gardai removed from official statistics 14 fatalities and a further 17 in 2012 as well as the 212 of 990 before the Road Safety Authority were allowed examine them and make Landmark decisions on Alcohol, Speed and tyres while Theory Test Questions on Alcohol were introduced based on these flawed statistics.
Assistant Commissioner Twomey was mistaken as 3 months before he responded; Garda Garry McLoughlin was fatally injured on 19 07 2011 during an unnecessary Garda pursuit at 180 km/h involving Gardai trained by the RSA and at the Garda Driving School. In 2011 Garda patrol car crashes reached 667 and 186 fatalities were recorded. In 2012 Garda patrol car crashes reached 639 and 162 fatalities were recorded. Assistant Commissioner John Twomey oversaw the removal of fatalities from Official Garda statistics in 2011/12.
Commissioner John Twomey did not disclose the stopping distance formula used by Garda Driving School, the name of the Garda who examined my research, the reason Gardai and the RSA stopping distance differs by 50m from a speed of 120 km/h, the reason Collision Prone Zones were removed from the Garda web Page or the purpose of pursuing drivers for minor traffic offences at 180 km/h. A Garda who passes the RSA driving test may be authorised drive Garda patrol cars at 180 km/h by Chief Superintendents and Assistant Garda Commissioners.
I queried on Twitter the Highway Code Tweet on Rule 227 which stated: “Typical stopping distance at 30mph is 23m on a dry road”, so the answers should be immediately available, but the reality is different as follows:
Hi Frank. Will find the answer and get back to you as soon as I can. John.
29 Dec 2011
We're waiting to hear back from the experts, but will get back to you.
15 Feb 2012
Hi Frank. Can you send an email address so I can reply in full? It's a bit of struggle in 140 characters :)
11 May 2012
And really sorry for the delay in getting back to you - our inbox has been spammed recently by lots of 'fake' messages.
11 May 2012
11 May 2012
Thanks Frank. Will drop you a line on email. Sorry again - 100s of spam messages that we've had to sift out.
11 May 2012
Hi Frank. I'll get our expert, Karen, to email you. Thanks. Liz
- The 1946 TRL Highway Code stopping distances are beyond emergency standard and for one-way roads.
- John at the Highway Code never again posted a similar Tweet on stopping distances.
Highway Code Stopping formula 1946 - 2019
“This question was asked by several people during the major Highway Code revision process and consultation, held between 2004 and 2007. Unfortunately, according to my contacts at The Department for Transport, the original stopping distance calculation method that was used back in the 50’s/60’s has been lost to history.
However, there is a link that we know of, to American sites, which apparently seem to use a calculation method that fits our UK distances reasonably well. I can’t guarantee that this is exactly how UK distances were calculated some 50-odd years ago, so the links below should not be taken as the exact method used, although they are reported as giving a reasonably close approximation.
http://www.csgnetwork.com/stopdistcalc.html is the calculator
http://www.csgnetwork.com/stopdistinfo.html is the table.
Assuming proper operation of the brakes on the vehicle, the minimum stopping distance for a vehicle is determined by the effective coefficient of friction between the tires and the road, and the driver's reaction time in a braking situation. The friction force of the road must do enough work on the car to reduce its kinetic energy to zero. If the wheels of the car continue to turn while braking, then static friction is operating, while if the wheels are locked and sliding over the road surface, the braking force is a kinetic friction force only.
To reduce the kinetic energy to zero:
so the stopping distance is
Note that this implies a stopping distance independent of vehicle mass, and in this case, driver reaction time. It also implies a quadrupling of stopping distance with a doubling of vehicle speed”
- Karen Lees was misled by her contacts at the DfT and American sites as both stopping formulas are incorrect and differ from 80 km/h as follows:
Distance in Metres
||50 = (80)||34||36||70|
|50 = (80)||15||38||53|
Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency DVSA
As TRL had confirmed in writing that they are unable to locate the Highway Code stopping distance formula and the Highway Code did not know the formula which they had used since 1946, I contacted Gareth Llewellyn the Chief Executive of the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency DVSA and the British Government.
02 08 2012: and during the following 5 years John Doyle, who posted the original Tweet on Stopping Distance in 2011 responded Reference: 45762, by repeating what Karen lees had written, but failed to acknowledge, the mistake made on stopping distances in 1946 by TRL and the British Government
- The Highway Code has a standard response letter for anyone making my discovery and no longer post information on stopping distances on Twitter or Facebook. See full John Doyle responses in 2012- 2017.
2012: 161 road users died in Ireland and 8,416 were injured. Gardai removed 17 fatal crashes from official statistics without explanation. The 2012 Annual Report, France stated; No real public policy has addressed road safety. Having won the ETSC Road Safety Award based on statistics in 2010, Ireland was now addressing the road fatality situation by removing fatalities from official records, underreporting injury crashes and removing the manufactured Collision Prone Zones, as 1m of the 2.5m drivers received penalty points annually.
- Gardai referred my queries on road fatalities to the RSA, who referred me to the Gardai who responded:
On 05 03 2012 Patrick Kennedy Garda Research Department Responded: “Frank , I refer to your email of the 2 March 2012; I wish to inform you that 'The Data Controller', The Commissioner of An Garda Síochána wishes to inform you, due to compliance with the Code of Practice for An Garda Síochána under Data Protection Legislation, he is not in a position to release the data you requested”, while
31 03 2017 or 5 years later, Gurchand Singh Responded; ”I’m sorry you feel that you feel you cannot engage with me because I am a civilian – even though I have responsibility for research and analysis in the organisation. I will forward this onto the Garda Commissioner, but as Head of Research it will find its way back to me table for views”
- In 2011/12, 31 road fatalities were removed from Official Garda Statistics without explanation.
22 05 2012:Alan Shatter Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence, responded: I refer to your correspondence dated 20 March and 9 May 2012 regarding the compilation of road traffic statistics. The delay in replying is regretted, this was due to the need to obtain a Garda report. This report is now to hand.
The Road Safety Authority (RSA) is the statutory body with responsibility for recording and publishing statistics on road collisions which occurred on a public road. The statistics are based on Garda records which are operational, provisional and may be subject to change. The Minister is further informed that the RSA issue an annual collision factbook.
- However, the Garda statistics published by the RSA have not stood up to scrutiny.
06 12 2012: ‘Sharing the Road with Emergency Service Vehicles was launched.
01 10 2012: Assistant Commissioner Gerard Phillips said, Dublin has the safest roads of all EU Capital Cities and that is a very significant honour to hold. We will target speeding drivers (particularly in 50 kph zones), drink drivers, dangerous drivers, errant cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians.
- This honour was short lived as I had I discovered underreporting of road fatalities.
In 2012, on the RTE final Prime Time Programme of the year Commissioner Martin Callinan claimed that road deaths were down by 20 on 2011 figures but failed to mention those 17 fatalities which were removed.
On 23 05 2012,it required a Freedom of information FOI Request to discover that Brian Farrell the RSA communications Manager, commissioned Iain O. York at the Transport Research Laboratory to provide the stopping distances used in the Rules of the Road in 2007 and 2012. In 2019, it took a further FOI to discover that the RSA Expert writing in the Independent about Motorways and driver’s inability to use them correctly, was Brian Farrell, while it required an FOI to discover that Caroline Green requested Project Report Summary CPRv2 from TRL on Shock Absorbers.
- Why such secrecy for a Government Organisation, ‘Working to Save Lives’?
Brian Farrell was aware of my research discovery since 2003 as a member of the National Safety Council NSC, an Organisation in existence since 1912 and as a member of Expert Review Group on Speed Limits in 2013, with Inspector Michael Brosnan who became the RSA Research Manager.
In June 2012, I. York TRL, provided Brian Farrell with an unpublished Client Project Report RPN2213, Total Stopping Distances for SRA Not RSA. The Report claims that perception-reaction times used in highway standards are in the region of 2.5 seconds, but that they can vary by between 0.5 and 3.5 seconds. Reference Book Triggs and Harris (1982). Reaction time of drivers to road stimuli. Human factors 1982 Report HFR-12, Monash University, Australia, uses Reference Book Gazis, D., Herman, R. and Maradudin, A. ‘The problem of the amber signal light on traffic flow’ 1960, which was designed for traffic travelling straight and at maximum speed only. 90% of red light tickets are now issued for turning traffic.
The Engineering Manual used this reference book since 1960 and it is now the subject of a legal challenge by Mats Järlström in the case MATS JÄRLSTRÖM, Plaintiff, v. CHRISTOPHER D. ALDRIDGE and others. A 2.5 or 3.5 second reaction time for drivers before braking and a 3 second amber light in an 80 km/h area is a TRL contradiction which may also have to be addressed in the courts in Ireland.
- What is the purpose of the RSA Research Department using retired Gardai as Research Managers?
On 11 07 2012, the Fatal Collisions Report 2008 – 2012 Alcohol as a Factor in road crashes published by the Originator A Regan and Brian Farrell RSA Communications Manager states. “Document: Record Control C This Document is uncontrolled if printed or viewed outside the Document Control Database”. However, these are official statistics on alcohol used to set 20 questions in the Driver Theory Test and at least two must be answered. Michael Brosnan and Brian Farrell were the RSA Experts named by the European Commission on the Review of the Penalty Point Systems, but were provided with different stopping formulas by TRL.
- Noel Brett in the 2012 RSA Annual Report, outlined that it was the seventh year in a row for reductions in road fatalities and a fifth successive year for record low fatalities, while the RSA aimed to become self-funding by 2014. Gay Byrne the RSA Chairperson outlined that we are saving four lives every week compared to 2006.
- Gardai reported 161 road user fatalities in 2012, having removed 17 fatalities without explanantion, so therefore there were 178 road user fatalities and not 4 lives saved.
- Byrne was mistaken as fatalities continued.