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THREE men were killed in separate road accidents as authorities announced the 'success' of the first year of penalty points.

Despite the latest tragedies, figures for the last 12 months show there were 70 fewer road fatalities since the points system was introduced.

The National Roads Authority estimates that as many as 346 serious injuries may also have been prevented.

In the latest series of accidents, two men were killed in separate incidents in Donegal.

A 63-year-old pedestrian died when he was struck by a vehicle at Downings in the north of the county early yesterday morning.

Another man was killed in a collision between two vehicles in Buncrana.

The 23-year-old victim, who was the driver of one of the cars, was taken to Altnagelvin hospital in Derry but died at about 5am yesterday.

The two occupants of the other car received minor injuries.

In Dublin, a man in his 70s died when he was hit by a truck on Bachelors' Walk in the city centre on Friday night.

A ten-year-old boy was also being treated at Temple Street Children's hospital in Dublin after he was struck by a car at the Five Lamps on the North Strand.

A hospital spokeswoman said he was in a critical but stable condition.

Despite the latest deaths, the National Roads Authority said there had been an almost 20 per cent drop in road deaths since penalty points were introduced on November 1 last year.

The spokesman said this represented a saving to the economy of EUR155 million.

A spokesman said: "There has been a marked improvement in road safety.

"But many drivers still have to get the message to slow down."

A garda spokesman said last night: "We welcome the reduction of deaths on the road and the penalty points system has definitely made an impact.

"But there is still a long way to go, particularly among young male drivers who continue to speed. We have to get the message home to them."
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Publication:The People (London, England)
Date:Nov 2, 2003
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