Wednesday, March 08, 2023

Ken Foxe

Dead animals, drivers running out of fuel, vehicles on fire, and motorists travelling in the wrong direction were amongst more than 4,000 accidents and incidents on the country’s busiest road last year.

Transport Infrastructure Ireland logged 4,028 separate incidents on Dublin’s M50 ring road in 2022, at the rate of more than eleven every single day.

There were 1,660 separate breakdowns, or the equivalent of 32 every week, as well as 758 different collisions on the regularly log-jammed motorway.

Cyclists or pedestrians were reported on the road 260 times while there were 39 cases where live animals, including family pets, were spotted.

A total of 195 motorists suffered either a flat tyre or a blow-out while 28 drivers ran out of fuel while circumnavigating the ring road.

Anti-social behaviour was reported on one occasion along with eight cases of deceased animals on the road and another eight cases of flooding.

Queues on off-ramps were reported 225 times causing major slowdowns on the main carriageway while there were twenty cases of vehicles on fire.

Wrong way

Three cases of vehicles heading in the wrong direction were also reported along with 25 different medical emergencies.

There were 136 cases of a car reported “missing [or] abandoned” and 524 when potentially dangerous debris was spotted on the surface of the road.

Other accidents and incidents logged included an over-height vehicle, six reports of illegal activities, and four people looking for their location or advice on directions.

Transport Infrastructure Ireland said that of the 4,028 total incidents, 13 had been given the highest Category 4 for a “major incident”.

There were also 1,077 “high priority incidents”, 863 “moderate priority incidents”, and just over 2,000 events that were considered “low priority”.

September worst

Significant variations were seen in the number of accidents and incidents that were reported in certain months with September by far the worst.

According to a database of incidents, there were 420 cases logged last September, the only time in which the monthly total exceeded 400.

The lowest rate of incident was in January last year when there was a tally of 232 accidents and incidents, the figures showed.

Some alerts lasted longer than 24 hours with one incident of animals on the road listed as having a duration of more than two days last August.

Another case of a car reported missing or abandoned lasted over a day before the vehicle was eventually accounted for in November.

A spokesman for Transport Infrastructure Ireland said: “The M50 is a 24/7, 365 days a year managed motorway. There are incident response units stationed along the M50 corridor during peak travel times, specifically to assist drivers when an incident occurs, and support emergency services should a serious accident happen.

“If a serious accident happens the variable signage system or variable speed signage will assist emergency services by either directing traffic to exit the motorway at the approaching interchange or slow traffic down making it safer for those dealing with an incident and manage traffic safely past the event.”

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