Speed Doesn't Kill, Public Roads Do

on Sep, 17 2011

Between 1998 and 2006, 3,294 people have died on Irish public roads.  That number today is obviously much higher (I got this number from the CSO's website, a publicly operated statistics organisation - hence the five year lag.)

By comparison, there have been a little over 45 road deaths on Grand Prix circuits since 1950, the last one in 2001.  It's been 10 years since some has died on a formula 1 track, ...despite these cars being driven at 220 M/ph (or 350 K/ph).


To summarise, in the same eight year period between 1998 and 2006, 3,294 people died on Irish public roads with vehicles driving at speeds between 10 M/ph and 100 M/ph - 2 people died on Grand Prix private roads with vehicles driving at speeds between 100 M/ph and 220 M/ph (Paolo Ghislimbert in 2000 and Graham Beveridge 2001.)


The fundamental difference is that accidents which occur on privately run Grand Prix tracks directly impact both the profit and reputation of all individuals responsible for the service.  This is not the case for Irish public roads, which the RSA (Road Safety Authority) controls - in fact the opposite is true.


If the RSA really wanted to do Ireland a favour and make the roads safe - they'll shut down and hand the roads over to the marketplace, where there are exacting and predictable consequences for the correct, and incorrect, management of services.


Imagine being able to say your country had 0 road fatalities in 10 years, like the Formula 1 representatives can.

Last modified on on Dec, 29 2011


# Marius CC 2012-01-25 12:02
They say there are 3 types of lies: small lies, big lies and statistics. ;).

Basically you are comparing Grand Prix and public road total death numbers and jump to (the wrong) conclusion.

How many cars/drivers get involved in 10 years in Grand Prix versus how many cars/drivers travels on public roads will be a better adequate comparison.
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# Gareth 2012-01-25 12:05
Thanks for your comment Marius! There are indeed far fewer drivers on Grand Prix roads - this is because not just anyone is just allowed use them. There is exclusion. You must be proven to be a good driver.

Now I'm not suggesting every road is run in that way - Grand Prix is competitive so obviously much more stringent private regulation will apply.

Public roads have so many crashes not just becuase there are so many people - but because there are so many people clearly unqualified to use them.
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# A Country Farmer 2012-01-30 05:03
A good comparison would be deaths per miles driven.

To your point though, it's amazing how many safety measures they take.
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# Gareth 2012-01-30 13:49
Thanks for your comment Country Farmer!

I initially thought to make the comparison that way - and it's not a bad idea. Though I think it would be very difficult to calculate that accurately.

Maybe I can get the public road figures from the RSA...

Thanks for the suggestion :)
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