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RSA & Gardaí Issue Appeal Following Rise in Pedestrian Deaths

Public Urged to Wear Hi-Visibility Jackets When Walking Day or Night.

Both the Road Safety Authority and An Garda Síochána have urged pedestrians to take extra care on the roads as road collision figures show that 42 people have been killed while walking in 2010, representing a 16% increase in pedestrian deaths compared to last year.

Assistant Commissioner John Towmey, An Garda Síochána, said “One in every five deaths to occur on our roads has been a pedestrian and we are appealing to all road walkers and cyclists of the importance that they be seen in these dark winter months.  The only way to be seen is to wear reflective clothing such as a high visibility jacket, armband or carry a torch when walking, particularly on country roads.  This will make you easily seen by oncoming traffic.”

Mr. Noel Brett, Chief Executive, Road Safety Authority, said “Winter can be a more dangerous time for walkers and cyclists as poor light and weather conditions make using roads more dangerous.  A high visibility jacket can be seen at a distance of 500 metres by an oncoming vehicle.  That’s the length of almost four football pitches and gives a driver plenty of time to react to you on the road. If you do not wear a high visibility jacket, a vehicle will not see you until you are 50 metres away, that’s the half way line and too late to react.”

It is not only walkers and cyclists which have a responsibility on the roads.  Motorists need to be aware of walkers and cyclists, and expect them around every corner.  Mr. Brett asked motorists to, “Expect the unexpected, you never know who or what is waiting for you around the next corner.”  The best thing a motorist can do is to slow down.  Reducing speed by 5km/hr could be the difference between life and death for a pedestrian or cyclist.”

Hit by a car at 60 km/h, 9 out of 10 pedestrians will be killed
Hit by a car at 50 km/h, 5 out of 10 pedestrians will be killed
Hit by a car at 30 km/h, 1 out of 10 pedestrians will be killed

Concluding, Assistant Commissioner Towmey highlighted the fact that, “Tragically, a number of people have been killed while walking on motorways this year. You should never walk on a motorway, under any circumstances, as it’s extremely dangerous. It’s also an offence.”

A total of 42 pedestrians have been killed to the 26th November 2010, compared to 36 to the same period in 2009.


Garda Press Office.