Belfast Telegraph

Warning on pedestrians' death toll

One in three people killed in road accidents in Dublin over the last decade was a pedestrian.

Walkers, cyclists and motorcyclists are being warned to be seen on dark evenings in a new road safety campaign launched by gardai.

Figures show 76% of those killed or seriously injured in 51 crashes in the Dublin region this year have been on foot or bike. Almost eight in 10 happened in 50kph (30mph) zones in dry weather, with gardai suggesting drivers got complacent with conditions.

Assistant garda commissioner Gerard Phillips said cyclists also have a habit of not observing the rules of the road. Cyclists breaking red lights and using footpaths will be among those stopped by gardai, as well as pedestrians taking risks and inexperienced, dangerous, speeding and drink-drivers, particularly in 50kph zones.

"People have to be responsible when they are on the road," Mr Phillips added.

Gardai warned the most vulnerable time for bikers and walkers is between 4pm and 6pm, Monday to Friday, and in the early hours of the weekends. Its casualty reduction implementation plan will run for eight weeks and urge all road users to be aware of each other.

Mr Phillips said despite having the best road safety record of all European Union capital cities, Dublin's vulnerable road users are still a concern. A cyclist, walker or jogger hit at 60kph (37mph) has an 85% chance of being killed.

"Six out of 10 fatalities last year alone were pedestrians," he added.

"Mobile phones are also still a problem. People need to get the message that if using a mobile phone, they are four times more likely to be involved in an accident.

"It is not acceptable to the vast majority of drivers that people are using them. I would have no crib at all if the penalty points were increased."

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