Appeal to those at risk after road deaths

Thu, Dec 29, 2011, 00:00

GARDAÍ HAVE launched a new appeal for pedestrians and cyclists to be aware of their vulnerability on the road after the deaths of seven people on Irish roads – including three pedestrians – since last Friday.

The warning came as it emerged yesterday that the Garda Traffic Corps had been reduced from 1,250 personnel to about 900, a change prompting Road Safety Authority chairman Gay Byrne to claim there would be more road fatalities.

Assistant Garda Commissioner John Twomey said despite the cut in numbers, An Garda Síochána would remain “absolutely committed to enforcing the Road Traffic Act”.

Speaking yesterday on RTÉ’s Morning Irelandprogramme, Mr Twomey said although resources were reduced, the Garda Traffic Corps had developed better ways of enforcing road safety measures.

“We have a detailed analysis of the road fatalities . . . 55 per cent of our fatalities happen on weekends and 40 per cent of those are between 10pm and 6am, and that is when we target our enforcement,” he said.

Mr Twomey labelled Mr Byrne’s assessment of the situation as a “simple and crude deduction to make”.

The death of a man in his 70s yesterday afternoon following a two-car collision at Gaultier Cross, Dunmore East, Co Waterford, brought to seven the number of fatalities on Irish roads since last Friday.

Earlier yesterday, gardaí issued an appeal for witnesses following the death of a pedestrian in Co Kildare.

The dead man, in his 30s, was hit by a car on the R403 road in Baybush, Straffan, shortly before 10pm on Tuesday.

The female driver of the car was uninjured.

The man is the third pedestrian to have been killed on the roads since St Stephen’s Day.

Aaron Moore (23), from Celbridge, Co Kildare, died after he was struck by a car while walking along the N4 at Clongowney, Co Westmeath, on Tuesday morning.

Meanwhile, Michael Doran (69), of Templemore, Co Tipperary, died following an incident the previous evening at St Nessan’s Road in Dooradoyle, Co Limerick.

In their appeal to vulnerable road users, gardaí are encouraging all pedestrians and cyclists to wear high-visibility clothing at all times.