Pedestrian road deaths double

THE number of pedestrians killed on Dublin roads has doubled in the past year.

During 2005 24 pedestrians died on roads in the capital, compared with 11 in 2003.

Deputy Garda Commissioner Fachtna Murphy is launching a campaign tomorrow in an effort to halt this alarming trend.

Figures show Ireland has the third highest pedestrian death rate in the EU and the highest level of child pedestrian deaths.

The pedestrian safety awareness campaign is being backed by the National Safety Council, local authorities and transport agencies. Trucks or buses account for 67% of fatal accidents involving pedestrians, according to the Garda Press Office.

Middle-aged pedestrians are at greatest risk - 62% of pedestrians involved in fatal traffic accidents are aged 50 years and over.

A high percentage of pedestrians are killed during the hours of darkness. “This campaign is aimed at raising the awareness of pedestrians generally regarding road safety and in particular the ‘blind spot’ that drivers of trucks and pedestrians must contend with,” a garda spokesperson said yesterday. Referring to deaths involving trucks turning left at junctions, AA spokesman Conor Faughnan said this “blind spot” posed particular danger for cyclists and motorcyclists. “But everybody has to be careful on the road. There are incidents where pedestrians are killed or injured where the primary fault lies with the pedestrian.”

Gardaí will be distributing wrist bands, leaflets and posters across the city to schools, post offices, health board centres and community and parish centres aimed at driving home the safety message.

Posters will also be displayed on Luas trams, Dart trains and city buses.

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