A total of 42 pedestrians were killed on Irish roads up to the end of November 2010, which compares to 36 for the same period in 2009. Both the Road Safety Authority and An Garda Síochána are now urging pedestrians to take extra care on the roads as these road collision figures show an increase of 16 per cent more people have been killed while walking in 2010.
“Tragically, a number of people have been killed while walking on motorways this year,” said Assistant Garda Commissioner John Towmey. “You should never walk on a motorway, under any circumstances, as it’s extremely dangerous. It’s also an offence.”
He went on to say that “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.”
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.”
Mr Brett also 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.”