Campaign targets vulnerable road users


One of the State’s most high profile road safety campaigns began in Dublin this morning.

The city, which now has the safest roads among EU capitals, will see a new Casualty Reduction Plan target vulnerable road users over the next eight weeks.

It will involve variable road messaging signs, targeted to come on between 4pm and 6pm which is peak time for cyclists; poster campaigns on buses, taxis, Luas and lorries; increased Garda street enforcement of cycling and pedestrian rules; and schools education programmes among other initiatives.

According to Assistant Garda Commissioner Gerry Phillips, six of the 11 people who lost their lives in the Dublin metropolitan region in 2011 were pedestrians.

He said the high visibility campaign was aimed particularly at vulnerable road users such as cyclists, motorbikers and pedestrians. But he said he wanted a simple message “concentrate at all times” to go out to every road user.

Since casualty reduction initiatives began in 2010 fatalities in the Dublin region have fallen from 32 to eight so far this year.

According to Garda analysis of crashes and incidents in the Dublin area:

* Some 76 per cent of those killed or seriously injured were defined as ‘vulnerable road users’ such as pedestrians, pedal cyclists and motorcyclists

* Almost 80 per cent of incidents occurred in the 50km/h speed limit zones

* High risk periods were identified as at between 4pm and 6pm Monday to Friday for vulnerable road users

* The early hours of the morning at weekends were identified as the times of high risk of single vehicle collisions often involving speed and alcohol

* The Garda districts where the highest levels of fatal and serious injury crashes were Clondalkin, Tallaght, Coolock, Blanchardstown, Ballymun, Store Street, Lucan, Dun Laoghaire and Raheny.

Mr Phillips said the Dublin campaign would be mirrored around the country through “operation Focus” which was an ongoing campaign to target road safety issues.

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