Gardaí want 'high vis' law for cyclists
GardaÍ want the law to be changed to make it mandatory for cyclists to wear reflective 'high visibility' clothing and helmets.
They have called on Tánaiste and Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald to introduce legislation immediately in a bid to curb the fatality toll on the nation's roads.
But they rejected a proposal that the measure should also apply to all pedestrians.
The annual conference of the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors (AGSI) in Killarney yesterday heard that there had been 141 pedestrians killed on Irish roads over the past four years and that represented 20pc of all fatalities.
Mayo delegate Sean Callaghan said last year 35 pedestrians had been killed and 23 of those incidents had taken place during the hours of darkness.
He said wearing high visibility clothing meant that a pedestrian could be spotted at up to 500km and he argued changing the legislation would save lives.
Another delegate, Claire Healy of the Dublin metropolitan traffic division, said it would be very difficult to police a mandatory requirement for pedestrians in urban areas and also said the worst months for pedestrians being killed were July, May and October.
She said it was all about education, changing people's attitudes and behaviours.
Ms Healy said the concept of making people wear 'high vis' clothing would work in rural areas, particularly where they were walking home in the early hours of the morning but it would be difficult to police in areas like Dublin city centre, where she worked.
She said Australia had led the way in introducing mandatory helmets for cyclists and it was now widely accepted.