Saturday 24 August 2019

Motorcyclists and bike users now make up 20pc of road deaths

'Slow down, allow a safe passing distance, be safe on the roads' Stock Image
'Slow down, allow a safe passing distance, be safe on the roads' Stock Image

Ralph Riegel

Cyclists and motorbike riders now account for almost one in five fatalities on Irish roads, prompting concern among gardaí and road safety chiefs.

Of the 88 people killed on the roads so far this year, six of them were cyclists and 10 were motorcyclists.

The latest fatal accident involved a male motorcyclist who died in a collision with a car in east Cork on Saturday.

It was the third fatal motorcycle crash in Cork in just over a fortnight - and the second in just 48 hours.

The motorcyclist, understood to be aged 72, was named locally as Tom Foley from Douglas in Cork.

The accident, involving a collision between and a car and a motorbike, occurred at Lisacrue, near Killeagh, on the N25 Cork-Waterford road shortly after 6.30pm on Saturday.

The biker was pronounced dead at the scene.

Two occupants of the car involved, who were both in their 80s, were treated at the scene for shock before being taken away to Cork University Hospital for assessment.

Road safety chiefs have expressed major concern at the soaring number of bike and motorcycle rider deaths.

The trend comes as fatal accidents are up by almost 7pc on figures for last year.

While 88 people had died by July 20 on Irish roads this year, 82 had died over the same period in 2018.

Dublin, Cork and Tipperary continue to have the highest number of fatal accidents.

Last year had ranked as the safest year on Irish roads for some time, with the lowest level of fatalities recorded in recent years.

Over the past six weeks, gardaí, the Road Safety Authority (RSA) and safety groups have emphasised safe driving.

Of the 72 fatalities this year not involving bikes and motorbikes, 48 were drivers, 14 were pedestrians and 10 passengers.

RSA boss Moyagh Murdock urged everyone to take greater care on Irish roads.

"We are urging all road users - particularly motorists and drivers of large vehicles - to make sure they slow down, allow a safe passing distance and be safe out there," she said.

Motorists are asked to be particularly mindful of cyclists and motorbike riders.

Gardaí warned the increased number of road fatalities compared to last year is a cause of concern for everyone.

Assistant Commissioner David Sheahan urged all road users to heed safety pleas.

"Be mindful of the changing weather conditions that impact on road surfaces, never ever drink and drive, reduce your speed and arrive alive to prevent any further tragedy on our roads," he said.

Irish Independent

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