History of road fatalities 2017-2018
2017: 158 road users died in Ireland and injuries are not yet available.
The RSA commissioned independent research company Behaviour & Attitudes to conduct research on Garda enforcement of road safety.
- The RSA should be able to ask the Gardai questions without independent research!
- Is it time to have the RSA snd Roads Policing under the control of the one Minister?
2017: The Road Traffic (Minimum Passing Distance of Cyclists) Bill 2017 had proposed three penalty points and an €80 fine where a motorist passed a cyclist closer than one metre on a road with a speed limit under 50km/h and one-and-a-half metres on roads with a higher limit and disqualification for all drivers over the minimum alcohol limit allowed.
2017: Moyagh Murdock RSA CEO and Liz O’Donnell RSA Chair, presented Road Safety Authority CEO special recognition award 2017 to Phil Skelton, Slaney Cycling Club, ‘Safe Cycling Ireland’, for ‘Staying Alive at 1.5’.
- I objected to the Bill, and asked Minister Ross to outline where the passing measurement would take place from and if 1m is allowed at 50 km/h, surely there shoud be 2m passing distance at a speed of 100 km/h; would measurement take place from the cyclists elbow, pedal, handlebar, car wing mirror or before, during or after a cyclists wobble which the courts allow for. Who would measure the passing distance? as Gardai and the RSA already differ on stopping distance form a speed of 120 km/h by 1.52 seconds 51 metres.
- Minister Ross sought the advice of the Attorney General Séamus Woulfe who confirmed that the minimum passing distance could not be enforced.
- The RSA continue to run the ad on television on passing distances.
24 03 2017: The Deputy Commissioner in charge of Policing and Security, John Twomey, appointed Assistant Commissioner Michael O’Sullivan to commence an examination into the recording of breath tests at Mandatory Alcohol Testing (M.A.T.) checkpoints for the period June 2010 to April 2016. The examination determined that 3,498,400 breath tests were recorded on PULSE compared to 2,040,179 recorded on Dräger devices. This identified a discrepancy of 1,458,221 breath tests between the Dräger count and the PULSE count.
- Assistant Commissioner Michael O’Sullivan discovered the need to refine data collected and dispense with all collection practices in existence that have no relevance to roads policing. The number of negative breath tests conducted fall into this remit.
- This may well be a reson organisations and police are not allowed to investigate themselves.
01 06 2017, at the Road Safety Authority RSA International Conference on tackling the crisis of Drink Driving on EU roads, Velma Burns the RSA Research Manager said, “The problem of drink driving is not solved”. However, in 2009, Assistant Commissioner Eddie Rock now on the board of the RSA claimed that only 0.48% of drivers stopped at checkpoint were drunk and Noel Brett claimed that, ‘2011 will be remembered as the year that we finally got to grips with the scourge of drinking driving. The statistics supplied by Gardai to Maggie Martin and Dr Margaret Ryan had 116 of 983 fatalities removed and do not stand up to Central Statistics Office CSO scrutiny.
Antonio Avenoso, European Transport Safety Council ETSC Executive Director said, More than 200 experts contribute to ETSC work, 2014 – 2016 were bad years for road safety, 25,500 died in road crashes in the EU in 2016, “135,000 road users were seriously injured in the EU in 2014. An increasing number of countries are lowering their BAC limits to be in line with EU recommendation 2001 on maximum BAC legal limits and a survey discovered that: 27% know the blood alcohol limit allowed, 36% gave a wrong answer, while 37% did not know the blood alcohol limit allowed.
- The statistics on alcohol are mainly estimated by police and published by the RSA.
- Not all drivers who are over the alcohol allowed limit are at fault in road crashes.
- Sober drivers who crash do not have to report the crash.
- Drivers over the alcohol limit allowed, driving safely are arrested in case they crash.
- Drivers cannot be trained with dual controls; cars cannot be stopped in the braking distances outlined by TRL.
19 05 2017: Chief Superintendent Aiden Reid responded Ref: TB5,112.2008: I thank you for your continued correspondence on all matters Garda related and wish to advise you that a response will issue to you from this office once all matters that you have raised have been given the required consideration and appropriate attention.
- Chief Superintendent Reid oversees the issuing of 1m drivers with penalty points, the crashing of over 600 Garda vehicles annually and is aware of my research since 2008, as road fatalities continued. It is now nine years since Chief Superintendent Reid confirmed TRL provides Gardai with an incorrect stopping formula and referred me to the RSA. A response is awaited from Reid in 2019, who is now about to retire.
10 07 2017: I brought my research discovery and challenges in dealing with the Garda Traffic Department since 2001 to the attention of Assistant Commissioner Michael Finn. The correspondence was acknowledged and forwarded to Assistant Commissioner Michael Finn on 10 07 2017 @ 3:08 pm.
On 20 09 2017 the Attorney General Seamus Woulfe responded; “As previously pointed out to you, under the Constitution the Attorney General is the legal adviser to the Government in matters of law and legal opinion. The Attorney General does not have a function in relation to the matters in which you have raised and which I understand you previously referred to the Department of Transport and the Road Safety Authority. Consequently, you should consider referring the matter you have raised in your recent correspondence to these authorities.
Yours sincerely, The Office of the Attorney General”.
- The RSA and Gardai do not respond, as a fatality occurs every 40 hours in Ireland.
04 10 2017, Annie X O’Malley Policing Authority Reference: PA/2016/205 responded to my research discovery: “We acknowledge with thanks receipt of your email of 2 October, the contents of which are noted”.
- Noting that TRL has misled the Gardai and RSA on stopping distances did not reduce road fatalities.
On 20th and 22 03 2017, I again brought my research discovery to the attention of Karen Lees, Gareth Llewellyn Chief Executive Officer and Corporate Reputation, Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency DVSA and Secretary of State for Transport the RT. Honourable Chris Grayling. I included copies of our previous correspondence since 2011, as well as the fatal road crash statistics for 8 countries in attachments;
24 03 2017: Emily Spencer Public Liaison Officer DVSA wrote to the DVSA CEO @dvsa.gov.uk as follows;
Subject: Highway Code Stopping Distance formula incorrect and use of dual controls in tuition cars a mistake
Importance: High, Hello both.
Is this something that you could deal with? Looks like it went to Chris Grayling MP also. Let me know if it’s not then I will treat it here.
Emily Spencer Public Liaison Officer, Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency, The Axis Building, 112 Upper Parliament Street. Incorporating the Driving Standards Agency and Vehicle and Operator Services Agency.
The DVSA has a Complaints procedure
“You can complain to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) by email, phone or post and you’ll get a reply within 10 working days, if you're unhappy with the service you got, “DVSA is committed to providing a high quality of service to everyone. We need you to tell us if we get things wrong. We’ll listen to your complaint and treat it seriously and in confidence”
- The reality appears to be different at the DVSA, as drivers cannot be trained with dual controls; cars cannot be stopped in TRL braking distances as outlined in the Highway Code since 1946.
Subject: Highway Code Stopping Distance formula incorrect and use of dual controls in tuition cars a mistake.
Dear Frank, Thank you for your correspondence below. I can confirm that your email has been forwarded directly to John Doyle who will be responding to you shortly.
Jenna Howell, Corporate Liaison (Chief Executive and Ministerial), Corporate Affairs
Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency, Berkeley House, Croydon Street, Bristol BS5 0DA
Find out more about government services at www.gov.uk/dvsa<http://www.gov.uk/dvsa>
Driver and Vehicle and Standards Agency DVSA Responded
Subject: Highway Code stopping distance formula incorrect and use of dual controls a mistake.
I acknowledge receipt of your email below, with attachment. Your correspondence has been sent to John Doyle, Road Safety Policy Advisor, Department for Transport. Stopping distances will be considered at the next review of The Highway Code.
On 07 09 2017 the RT Hon Chris Grayling MP, Secretary of State for Transport, House of Commons responded in an automatic reply. “Please note that there is a strict Parliamentary convention that MPs can only deal with matters raised by their own constituents or businesses in the constituency.
On 07 09 2017, Jo Stevens Road Safety Policy, responded on behalf of the Welsh Government Reference; TO-KS-03123-17, “Thank you for your email of 24 August to the Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure regarding causes of road traffic accidents. I have been asked to respond.
The Highway Code for England, Wales and Scotland is published by the Department for Transport (DfT) in England. The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), who carry out driving tests, and approve people to be driving instructors, is an executive Agency sponsored by the DfT in England.
Therefore, the policy on the use of dual controls in tuition cars and stopping distance formulas are ultimately the responsibility of the DfT. Neither of these matters are devolved to Welsh Government. You may wish to raise these matters directly with the DfT. Their contact details can be found at the bottom of the page at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-transport”
- I was dealing with John Doyle since 2011 and a road user dies every 4 hours in Great Britain.
Stopping formulas 1946 - 2017
1933 TRL was established by the British Government (Name Changed during this time)
31 07 1946, TRL designed the Highway Code stopping distances introduced by Parliament
1981, AR Quimby and GR Watts designed TRRL 1004 Laboratory Report for the Departments of Transport and Environment UK based on a formula using a driver reaction time of 2.20 seconds.
21 03 2007, on day six of the trial for dangerous driving causing the deaths of 5 and injuries to 12 pedestrians in a 50 km/h area on 21 02 2004 on Wellington Quay, Garda Tony Kelly used the 1981, AR Quimby and GR Watts designed TRRL 1004 Laboratory Report allowing 2.2 seconds reaction time.
18 07 2007, Noel Gibbons the Mayo Road Safety Officer, took part in the road safety blessing of the roads, while using TRL the Holroyd City Council Australia reaction time of 1.50 seconds 20.80m at 50 km/h.
08 09 2008, Rosemary Hill TRL Library Enquiries confirmed that TRL cannot locate the stopping formula.
28 12 2011, John Doyle was seeking expert advice on TRL stopping and now in 2017 is the expert.
On 28 12 2011, John Doyle posted Typical stopping distance at 30mph is 23m on a dry road, Rule 227”.
15 06 2012, Karen Lees DSA claimed the formula was lost to history and referred me to the USA.
25 09 2013, Velma Burns the RSA Research Manager did not know the stopping formula, while the previous RSA Research Manager was the retired Garda Inspector Michael Brosnan using the TRL1004 formula.
2017, TRL Research by Richard Cuerden allows 1.50 seconds Reaction and claims the Highway Code is wrong since 1946, but appears unaware that TRL designed the 1946 stopping formula.
- This must be confusing for TRL, RSA, DVSA, Departments of Transport, Environment, Justice and Local governments, John Doyle, driving instructors, drivers and Police Crash investigators.
On 29 08 2017, Richard Jordan Department for Infrastructure Driver Policy Branch Northern Ireland responded: “Dual controls are in fact not required by law to be fitted in the vehicles of those who give driving instruction for payment (approved driving instructors (ADIs). Such controls are however fitted by most ADIs and are seen as a useful safety measure when giving tuition to learner drivers particularly in the early stages of such tuition.
The Police Service of Northern Ireland Road Traffic Collision statistics 2016 Report states that the most common principal causation factors for deaths and serious injuries on NI roads during 2016 were ‘inattention or attention diverted, followed by ‘excessive speed having regard to conditions’ and ‘wrong course/position’. It is unclear what role the potential use of dual controls in driving tuition would have on these causation factors.
The stopping distances used in the Highway Code for Northern Ireland are provided for guidance and they come under the heading 'Typical Stopping Distances' to reflect this. Road users need to be aware of other factors that affect overall stopping distances, such as whether a vehicle is travelling uphill or downhill, the age of the vehicle, the condition of the brakes and the loading of the vehicle. Weather conditions may also affect the distance in which a vehicle is able to stop. While considerable advances have been made in braking technology in recent years, the factors listed above all need to be taken into consideration.
I trust this information is of assistance”
Signed; Richard Jordan Department for Infrastructure Driver Policy Branch Northern Ireland.
- I responded; Police in Ireland are investigating road fatalities for almost 150 years since 1869 and for the first 75 years deemed pedestrians and cyclists to be the cause. Gardai and the PSNI differ on stopping from a speed of 120 km/h by 1.5 seconds 51 metres and the Transport Research Laboratory TRL is the source of both formulas. TRL confirmed in writing they are unable to locate the Highway Code formula. The Highway Code confirmed that the stopping formula has passed into history and referred me to the USA. On 23 11 2008, four PSNI Officers were fatally injured in a road crash and the cause of the crash is unknown. Road fatalities recorded by the PSNI have increased each year since 47 fatalities were recorded by the PSNI in 2012.
Dual controls must not alone be fitted in tuition cars before insurance is issued, but they cannot be fitted by a qualified mechanic and a higher degree is required by the insurance companies.
I invite you Richard Jordan and any rule maker worldwide to disprove my research findings by demonstration while using VBOX, the world’s most accurate recorder of speed in time and distance.
- In 2019, a response is awaited from Richard Jordan Department for Infrastructure Northern Ireland.
- It was 4 years since I brought my research to the attention of the Taoiseach on 11 02 2013.
On 01 11 2017: The Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan, T.D, responded MIN/2017/527; I have arranged for a copy of your correspondence to be forwarded to An Garda Síochána for comment and I will be in contact with you again on receipt of a response”.
- It was 16 years since I brought my research discovery to the attention of the Gardai on 09 11 2001.
- I invited anyone worldwide to disprove my findings by demonstration while using VBOX.
2018: 149 road users died in Ireland and injuries are not available, 2018 had the driest roads in history. In the 91 years since 1927, when Assistant Commissioner William Murphy blamed pedestrians and cyclists for road fatalities, the cause now changed to speed, alcohol, not wearing safety belts and distraction, fatalities continued.
The Rules of the Road Disclaimer
The 2018 Road Safety Authority RSA Rules of the Road States; “The RSA, its servants, agents or employees, are not responsible for any loss arising from or caused by the use of the Rules of the Road publication or for any error or omissions in the content, as the rules are for reference only. The stopping distances outlined are to be treated as absolute minimums. You are responsible and accountable for your own conduct. For a full list of road signs visit the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, where its Specific objectives is to: Ensure as far as possible, the provision of a safe and efficient network of national, regional and local roads, as well as Play an effective role in the EU legislative and decision-making process, and
- I invite Velma Burns the RSA Research Manager, Brian Farrell the RSA Communications Manager, Moyagh Murdock the RSA CEO and Rob Wallis the TRL CEO to disprove my research discovery by demonstration, while using the Driving ScoreCard System based on VBOX measurements and I invite the Minister for Transport Shane Ross to watch the demonstration, which will be videoed.
- Drivers cannot be trained in 12 hours and TRL is misleading their 1,000 clients on stopping.
On 21 05 2018 @ 11.58, I brought my research discovery to the attention of Assistant Commissioner David Sheahan; including my dealings with Gardai since 2001 and Chief Superintendent Aiden Reid regarding the enforcement of an incorrect speed limit on the R108 for 8 hours a day, since 2008 and the difference of 1.52 seconds 50 metres in stopping distance between that outlined by Gardai and the RSA.
- A response is awaited in 2019, however
31 08 2018, according to Michelle Hennessy in the journal.ie, Assistant Commissioner David Sheahan blamed Speed, Alcohol, Drugs, not wearing seat belts and mobile phone use for road fatalities. In correspondence sent to Chief Superintendent Aiden Reid by Sheahan, he threatened to transfer Gardai who failed to issue a penalty point quota, from the Roads Policing Unit.
- 30 04 2019: According to the newspaper.com: Massachusetts Ticket Quota Cop Wants To Avoid Jail Time as he was caught issuing bogus tickets under a federal ticket quota program.
On 30 11 2018, I contacted the Policing Authority CEO Helen Hall: It appears there is collusion, malpractice and possible corruption at the Roads Policing. This was not rectified by Commissioner Martin Callinan and I now wish to have it rectified by lodging the attached complaint.
Excellent policing cannot be delivered while Commissioner Drew Harris and Deputy Commissioner John Twomey, who has rejected my research findings in writing, not by demonstration for 8 years since 2010, use two of the five different Transport Research Laboratory TRL stopping distance formulas.
On 30 11 2018, Clare Kelly, Corporate Governance Manager, Policing Authority responded; “I wish to acknowledge with thanks receipt of your correspondence of 30 November 2018 in relation to the complaint that you have lodged with the Policing Authority. The matter has been referred to me for consideration and I will be in contact with you in due course in relation to the matter”
On 06 12 2018, as it was 17 years since I brought my research to Gardai, I wrote to Clare X Kelly Re; 'I will be in contact with you in due course' With respect, according to some dictionaries, ‘Due Course’ means as follows:
- If you say that something will happen or take place in due course, you mean that you cannot make it happen any quicker and it will happen when the time is right for it. At the appropriate time. Sometime in the future when it is the right time, but not before or eventually.
You will recall that I undertook to contact you again when the Minister had received a report in relation to this matter. The report is now to hand and the Minister is advised by the Garda authorities that you are in direct contact with An Garda Síochána to discuss your concerns.
You will be aware that the Road Safety Authority (RSA) is the statutory body with responsibility for recording and publishing statistics on road collisions which occur on a public road. The RSA's: Rules of the Road 2011, cites "stopping distances" and "driver reaction times" from a publication by the Transport Research Laboratory. This is a private British Transport Consultancy and Research Organisation, originally established by the U.K. Government in 1933, whose modern day research findings are used as worldwide standards.
The RSA and the Road Traffic Acts fall within the remit of the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport. As such, you may wish to direct any concerns relating to road traffic legislation or the remit of the RSA to the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport.
- The 5 different stopping formulas outlined by TRL since 1946 are incorrect as they are for one-way roads with braking distances beyond emergency standard, Gardai and the RSA no longer respond to my queries.
19 05 2017: Chief Superintendent Aiden Reid lastly responded Ref: TB5,112.2008: I thank you for your continued correspondence on all matters Garda related and wish to advise you that a response will issue to you from this office on all matters that you have raised have been given the required consideration and appropriate attention.
- The Minister for Justice Charlie Flannagan is misled by TRL and Reid on stopping distances.
- Murdock is and was misled by TRL, Gardai and her staff on stopping distances.
- EDT cannot be delivered as outlined while TRL braking distances are beyond emergency standard.
On 08 03 2019, the RSA Experts writing about bizarre events over the years claimed, “Without doubt the driving test has saved countless lives over the years - and will continue to do so for the next 50 years”. However, published road crash statistics do not agree with the RSA Experts, as
In 2019, the driving test is 55 years in existence and a road user dies every 37 hours in Ireland. Fatalities show that driving tests and penalty points have not eliminated fatalities worldwide in 150 years as follows:
|2010||918||577||683,402||212 EU Award||55||1,850||89||208||32,999||1,367||375|
|2011||918||667||859,256||186 + 14||59||1,901||121||186||32,479||1,291||284|
|2012||918||639||962,141||162 + 17||48||1,754||93||170||33,561||1,300||308|
In 2010, Ireland won the EU Road Safety Award based on statistics. These statistics produced by the Gardai and published by the RSA did not stand up to scrutiny and were removed or replaced as I queried them.
In 2019, or 150 years after the world’s first road fatality occurred in Ireland there were 58 fatalities recorded in Ireland in the first 3 months, 11 more than in the same period in 2018. This was also the case in France, as;
- TRL is misleading their 1,000 clients in 145 countries worldwide on stopping formulas.
Police Service of Northern Ireland PSNI
On 10 07 2018, during the first 191 days of 2018, or 149 years after the first road fatality occurred in Ireland in 1869, the Chief Inspector of the PSNI Diane Pennington said, “Police officers have already visited the homes of 25 people to deliver the worst possible news to their families, we are asking everyone to stop and think about this figure for a moment. We will be liaising with our An Garda Siochana Traffic Corps Colleagues in the border counties, specifically looking for road users taking unnecessary and potentially life changing risks”
By the 28 11 2018, or 141 days later, the Chief Inspector of the PSNI Diane Pennington had visited the homes of a further 27 people as road fatalities in Northern Ireland had increased to 52.
In 2017, in Northern Ireland the PSNI recorded 63 road fatalities with 9,121 injuries or 145 injuries for each fatality and 778 of these injuries were classed as serious and some may require lifetime hospitalisation.
- The PSNI are misled by the incorrect 1946 TRL Highway Code stopping distance formula
- I invite Chief Inspector Diane Pennington to disprove my research findings by demonstration.
28 01 2019, Ronan McGreevy reported in the Irish Times; Gardaí call for vigilance after 10 road deaths in ‘dreadful’ week, ‘There is no place on our roads for people who do not comply with legislation’. Chief Supt Finbarr Murphy of the Garda National Roads Policing Bureau appealed to the public to be “extra vigilant” particularly given the dark evenings. Road Safety Authority chief executive Moyagh Murdock described the last week as “dreadful”.
- Driving cannot be taught in 12 EDT Lessons and cars cannot be stopped in TRL stopping distances.
- TRL has misled the Gardai, Policing Authority RSA and others on stopping since 1946.
- I invited anyone worldwide to disprove my findings by demonstration while using VBOX.