Toddler killed in Tipperary becomes latest child victim as road safety concerns rise

Road Safety Authority predicts deaths this year could rise to higher than 186

The latest fatality comes as a detailed report on road safety in Ireland signalled “an alarming increase in the number of child, cyclist and pedestrian casualties”.

The latest fatality comes as a detailed report on road safety in Ireland signalled “an alarming increase in the number of child, cyclist and pedestrian casualties”.

Sat, Aug 2, 2014, 01:01

A two-year-old boy has become the latest child to die on Irish roads after being struck by a van as new figures reveal an “alarming increase” in the number of casualties in that age group.

The toddler died after being knocked down on Rosanna Road in Tipperary at about 8pm on Thursday.

Gardaí attempted to resuscitate the boy before an ambulance crew arrived on the scene. He was taken to South Tipperary General Hospital at Clonmel where he was pronounced dead. Two men in the van, the driver and passenger, were not injured.

The latest fatality comes as a detailed report on road safety in Ireland signalled “an alarming increase in the number of child, cyclist and pedestrian casualties”.

The document, released by the Road Safety Authority and Garda Síochána, says there were 104 fatal collisions in the seven months up to the end of July, resulting in the deaths of 113 people.

This is five more deaths than for the same period last year.

The authority said there was “a high likelihood” the total number of fatalities for 2014 could reach 186 or higher if the current trend was not reversed.

It said 13 children under the age of 16 had died in the first seven months of 2014 – seven were pedestrians and six passengers in cars. Seven children died over the whole of 2013.

‘Major concern’

In a statement, the Garda said: “This increase is a major concern, particularly in the context of the increase in fatalities seen in 2013, when deaths for the year rose from 162 to 190, marking the first increase in fatalities since 2005.”

The figures also reveal that the most vulnerable group of road users when it comes to fatalities are pedestrians, with 23 being killed so far this year.

Among cyclists, the rate of deaths has also increased. Nine cyclists have been killed in the seven months to the end of July, compared to a total of five last year.

A spike in motorcycle deaths which emerged last year is said to be continuing in 2014.

A statistical analysis of the 15 motorcyclists who have been killed this year shows 11 of the total 13 fatal crashes involved two vehicles, mainly cars.

The only area that saw an improvement was in driver deaths, which stood at 45 by the end of July, down from 55 in the same period last year.