Pedestrian safety campaign launched
Published 05/05/2013 | 21:21
A cross border road safety campaign is being launched tomorrow to generate awareness about pedestrian vulnerability.
The initiative which coincides with UN Global Road Safety Week follows a weekend in which five people lost their lives on roads north and south. The aim of the campaign is to encourage motorists to adjust their behaviour when sharing the road.
Irish Transport Minister Leo Varadkar said pedestrians were among the most at risk road users. "I encourage everyone to be extra safety-conscious during UN Global Road Safety Week and to watch out for other road-users, particularly vulnerable pedestrians," he said.
On Saturday a teenage boy died in hospital hours after being knocked down at Newtownstewart, Co Tyrone.
His death brought to 16 the total number of pedestrians killed on Irish roads so far this year.
In Co Carlow two women aged in their 50s and 70s were killed when their car was in collision with a mini bus on Saturday. And, in Northern Ireland, two men aged 56 and in his 20s also died in separate road accidents.
Globally, more than 5,000 pedestrians are killed on the roads each week. Last year, 37 people were killed while walking on the roads in Ireland.
Northern Ireland Environment Minister Alex Attwood. said: "The recent sharp spike in road deaths in the first four months of the year - north and south - calls on all of us to work harder, drive safer and campaign more. If we share the road, we have to share the responsibility.
"Unlike motor vehicles, pedestrians do not have any protection upon collision. Even a low-speed collision can result in death."
Assistant Garda Commissioner Gerard Phillips advised pedestrians using rural roads without a footpath to walk on the right hand side facing oncoming traffic and always wear some form of high visibility clothing.