Pedestrian deaths fall despite daredevil antics
GARDA cameras have captured daredevil pedestrians risking their lives by crossing busy dual carriageways as cars speed past at 80kmh.
Senior officers expressed shock at cctv footage showing a group of three men trying to cross the N4 in Dublin on foot, instead of using a footbridge located just a short walk away.
And images from Dublin Bus and Luas show pedestrians routinely rushing in front of moving vehicles instead of waiting for traffic to stop.
One image shows late-night revellers caught between two Luas trams, while another shows people crossing O'Connell Bridge in front of a moving bus.
The pictures were shown at the launch of a casualty reduction plan in Dublin yesterday which gardai hope will help reduce road deaths.
There have been seven fatalities in the capital so far this year among 'vulnerable' road users -- pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists. This is six fewer than the same period in 2010.
Chief Superintendent Aidan Reid said a combination of enforcement, improved driver behaviour and the introduction of a 30kmh speed limit in parts of the city had helped reduce the number of collisions.
Being hit by a car travelling at 30kmh carries a 5pc risk of a fatality, compared with 45pc for 50kmh and 85pc for 60kmh.
"I believe the 30kmh zones are very beneficial in focusing motorists' minds on vulnerable road users," he said.
"We're hoping this campaign will focus the minds of the public. All it takes is one second for lives to be changed."
Data from the garda analysis service shows:
•In 2009, 32 vulnerable users were killed in the capital. This fell to 19 last year with seven fatalities so far in 2011. The last death was in June.
•Finglas, Blanchardstown, Clondalkin, Tallaght, Rathfarnham and Store Street have among the highest rate of fatalities, as they have a high number of pedestrian movements, or link with busy dual-carriageways.
Road Safety Authority chief executive Noel Brett said that one in five fatalities on the roads this year were pedestrians. "In many instances, it's people walking out in front of a bus or people with iPhones and earphones oblivious to what's going on around them," he said.
Gardai also revealed yesterday that 38pc of motorists with convictions for a range of traffic offences such as driving with no insurance, speeding and dangerous driving also have criminal convictions.