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Tuesday 22 October 2019

Half of all pedestrians killed on roads had alcohol in their system

Moyagh Murdock. Picture: Robbie Reynolds
Moyagh Murdock. Picture: Robbie Reynolds
Paul Melia

Paul Melia

Almost half of all pedestrians killed on the roads between 2008 and 2015 had alcohol in their system, some with more than seven times the drink-driving limit.

New research from the Road Safety Authority (RSA) also shows that older pedestrians are at the greatest risk of being killed.

Some 42pc of the 313 people who died over the seven-year period were aged 56 and older, while 15pc were aged over 75.

The analysis, by RSA policy and research analyst Dr Aoife Kervick, is based on official Garda investigation reports, records from coroners' inquests and internal RSA data.

It shows that back in 1990, 150 pedestrians were killed on the roads; the number fell to 31 last year. But this vulnerable group still accounts for a high proportion of road collision victims, RSA chief executive Moyagh Murdock said.

"Over the last decade, there has been a 60pc reduction in the number of pedestrians dying on the roads," she said.

"Despite this, further progress has to be made as one in five people killed on the roads is a pedestrian."

Some 44pc of fatalities occur between the months of October and January, while there is a higher risk at weekends and between 12am and 5am.

An analysis of 248 fatalities found that in 30pc of cases the victim was crossing the road, while in 21pc they failed to see an oncoming vehicle. But in 17pc of cases, the victim was either standing or lying in the middle of the road.

In the "vast majority" of these cases, the victim had consumed alcohol. Some victims had more than four times the legal limit in their system, rising to seven or eight times in extremes.

In 70pc of cases, the pedestrian was deemed to be culpable. Where motorists were found responsible, one in four had no insurance.

Irish Independent

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