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25th Oct 2023

Warning to drivers ahead of Bank Holiday weekend as pedestrian road deaths surge

Simon Kelly

RSA pedestrian road deaths

Pedestrian fatalities on Irish roads are highest for 15 years.

The Road Safety Authority (RSA), along with An Garda Síochána and Minister Jack Chambers, are urging road users to pay particular care this October Bank Holiday Weekend, as pedestrian deaths have hit at a 15-year high.

The RSA announced that analysis of road traffic collision data shows a steep rise in pedestrian fatalities over the past two years, showing that there were 43 pedestrians killed on Irish roads in 2022.

Figures for 2023 are estimated to be at their highest in 15 years, with 38 pedestrian fatalities so far.

The analysis also shows that the winter months are particularly dangerous for pedestrians.

Sam Waide, Chief Executive of the RSA, said: “This year and last year have seen high numbers of pedestrian fatalities. The winter months in 2022 were particularly bad when, between October and December, nearly half of all pedestrian fatalities occurred.

“We are, therefore, asking all road users to take extreme care over the coming months, which are potentially a period of higher risk, and to share the roads safely with other road users, especially pedestrians.”

In 2022, nearly twice as many pedestrians were killed at night than during the day, with 58% of fatalities taking place on urban roads with speed limits of 60 km/h or lower.

Drivers urged to take care as evenings get darker

Assistant Commissioner of An Garda Síochána Paula Hilman said the authorities are appealing to drivers to keep the roads safe as the evenings get darker earlier when the clocks go back on Sunday.

“This bank holiday weekend our focus will continue to be on the enforcement of known lifesaver offences; speeding, holding a phone while driving, driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs and non-wearing of seatbelts.

“I’m appealing to you today to help us keep our roads safe this weekend by driving at appropriate speeds to the road and weather conditions.  I ask road users and Pedestrians to look out for each other on the roads as it gets dark earlier when the clocks go back this weekend.”

Pedestrians and cyclists are also urged to wear high visibility clothing while out and about on the roads this weekend.

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