Gardaí and RSA warn over safety after 77th death on roads in 2017

A 52-year-old man struck by a truck in Dublin yesterday evening brings to 77 the number of people killed on the roads so far this year.

Gardaí at Kilmainham are appealing for witnesses following the fatal collision on Emmet St, Inchicore, at approximately 6pm.

The victim of the crash was treated by emergency services personnel at the scene and taken by ambulance to St James’s Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

Gardaí and RSA warn over safety after 77th death on roads in 2017

The latest road fatality comes as An Garda Síochána and the Road Safety Authority (RSA) join forces to urge road users to take care on the roads during the summer months.

Overseas visitors, children out playing, and tractors and trailers are among the seasonal hazards that make travelling the country’s roads riskier this time of year.

Drink-driving, meanwhile, continues to be a year-round problem with an additional 1,000 drink drivers arrested since last July compared to the previous 11 months.

Chief Superintendent Aidan Reid, Garda National Roads Policing Bureau, said 21 people lost their lives on our roads last July and they are anxious to avoid a repeat of that figure.

“Although 2017 is showing a reduction in road fatalities we can never afford to be complacent,” said Chief Supt Reid. “The summer months carry higher risk on the roads so no matter how you use it, take extra care.

“Last July we announced we were going to increase our focus on driving under the influence, and although most heard that message, many did not.”

The weekends are particularly risky, with Friday, Saturday, and Sunday accounting for over half of all fatalities (52%).

Chief Supt Reid said the message not to drink and drink was “still not getting through to some”.

“So can I take this opportunity to remind drivers that drink- or drug-driving is totally unacceptable, totally selfish and will continue to be a core focus of our roads policing activity,” said Chief Supt Reid.

“It costs lives on our roads, there is no other way to put it.”

Between July 2016 and May 2017, there were almost 8,000 arrests for driving under the influence, compared to almost 7,000 in the previous 11 months.

Moyagh Murdock, chief executive of the RSA, said while the temptation in summer time “might be to relax more when using the road, the reality is that we simply cannot afford to let our guard down”.

“The roads are going to be very busy with local festivals, sporting events and people travelling the length and breadth of the country for a break,” said Ms Murdock.

“Understand, too, that we will be sharing the roads this summer with foreign tourists who may not be used to driving on the left.”

There would also be more agricultural vehicles, cyclists and motorcycles sharing the roads with other road users. Ms Murdock said there was a spike in pedestrian, cyclist and motorcyclist casualties over the summer.

“Worryingly, 10 cyclists have lost their lives to date on the road compared to four to the date last year,” she said. “Slow down and expect the unexpected.”

This story first appeared in the Irish Examiner.

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