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Roads Policing – Pedestrian Safety

Garda Adrian Corcoran discussed pedestrian safety and offered advice to all road users on how they can make the roads safer. 

Adrian explained to date that in 2022 there has been 23 pedestrians killed on Irish Roads, that's 18.5% of all road fatalities. That number is significantly higher than this time last year when the number of pedestrians killed on our roads was 14. This is a worrying trend which we don’t want to continue. Next week sees the clocks going back an hour which means longer, darker evenings and with this in mind we would ask pedestrians to take the following steps to make themselves safer: 

  • - Stop, look and listen
  • - Don’t try to cross the road between parked cars
  • - If possible, cross at a pedestrian crossing or traffic lights
  • - Never cross at a bend If there is a footpath use it
  • - If there is no footpath, walk/run/jog on the right hand side of the road, facing oncoming traffic and keeping as close as possible to the side of the road
  • - Walk no more than two abreast and if the road is narrow or there is heavy traffic, walk in single file 

As a pedestrian, you are one of the most vulnerable road users. So it’s important that you practice good road safety and take personal responsibility in keeping yourself and others safe on our roads.

More than two thirds of fatal pedestrian collisions happen at night. Although you can hear a car coming and see its lights, the driver may not see you, and certainly won’t hear you. 

To protect yourself make sure you: 

  • - Always wear a pair of reflective armbands, high-visibility belt or other reflective or fluorescent clothing which will help you to be seen from a distance
  • - Carry a torch on country roads 

Hi-Viz clothing works by distinguishing the wearer from the visual clutter by means of being brighter through fluorescence, or by increasing night time visibility through the use of reflective stripes and markings. 

Hi-Viz clothing is a passive safety measure, which is shown in lab studies to increase the distance at which a person or object is noticed by an observer.

Walking to School 

Research shows that children under 12 should not cross roads on their own. They cannot decide how far away a car is or how fast it is going. They should be taken to school by a responsible adult. 

Don’t allow your child to cross the road between parked cars. This is very dangerous as a driver will not be able to see your child. Show your child how to cross the road by example. Choose safe places to cross and explain the reasons why to your child i.e. footbridges, zebra or pelican crossings or with a school warden.


Uncontrolled crossing places

Generally uncontrolled crossing places (courtesy crossings) are designated shared areas of the road. They are coloured, slightly raised or patterned cobbled sections of road, and drivers should be aware of the potential dangers of pedestrians approaching or crossing on them.

It is also important to point out that pedestrians do not have an automatic right of way when using these crossings. Pedestrians need to be alert and aware that traffic may suddenly approach from either direction. Pedestrians should only enter uncontrolled crossing places ensuring that all traffic is aware of their presence if crossing the road. This differs from Pedestrian lights and Pelican crossings where traffic will have a red light meaning pedestrians will have right of way.

A Zebra crossing is identified by black and white ‘zebra’ road markings and a flashing amber beacon. Pedestrians claim priority at a crossing by putting a foot on road and waiting until it is safe to cross.



  • - Ensure you stick to the speed limits
  • - Be extra vigilant when approaching junctions or pedestrian crossings. People may be in dark clothing making them harder to spot at night
  • - Eliminate all distractions from inside your car so that you can concentrate on your driving
  • - Take care when entering or exiting driveways, especially if you are reversing out onto the road
  • - Ensure your headlights are working and not obscured by dust or dirt
  • - Take extra care when passing schools, especially in morning and evening when children and parents are walking to and from school. Be extra cautious for children who may appear from between parked vehicles 

When a pedestrian is hit by a car at 50kph, they have a 50% chance of living. But when hit at 60kph, the chance of living drops to just 10%. 

Pedestrian Fatalities Survey 

A recent survey on pedestrian death showed the following; 

  • Older pedestrians are a particularly vulnerable group
  • October – January is a high risk period for pedestrian fatalities, as are weekends (12-5am)
  • The majority of pedestrian fatalities take place in darkness, with very low levels of high-visibility clothing being worn
  • The majority of pedestrian fatalities take place on urban roads
  • A third of pedestrians were crossing the road, and 1 in 5 had failed to observe
  • 1 in 2 pedestrian fatalities were confirmed to have consumed alcohol
  • Half of culpable drivers failed to observe before the fatal pedestrian collision, a quarter of culpable drivers were speeding