Tuesday 16 January 2018

Teen cyclist (13) critical after being hit by car at notorious blackspot

The bicycle and the car at the scene of the accident on the Drogheda to Slane road. Photo: Damien Eagers
The bicycle and the car at the scene of the accident on the Drogheda to Slane road. Photo: Damien Eagers

Ryan Nugent and Jane O'Faherty

A teenage boy was in a critical condition after being hit by a car on the same stretch of road where a man was killed a fortnight ago.

The 13-year-old was injured in a collision which took place around the Drogheda-Slane road shortly after 8.30pm on Sunday.

The teen cyclist was rushed to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda.

The front windscreen of the silver Renault Scenic was completely smashed by the incident but the driver of the car is understood to have avoided injury.

The road around King William's Glen Junction was closed until yesterday afternoon, with garda forensic investigators probing the area.

Less than a fortnight ago on August 10, a man in his 40s was killed after being knocked down nearby on the Slane Road.

In May, the Tullyallen Cumann of Fianna Fáil began a campaign for safety measures to be put in at the junction after a driver had to be cut from their vehicle.

Local councillor Tommy Byrne said: "It is a very fast, busy road."

The latest incident comes as the Road Safety Authority (RSA) launched a campaign targeting children under 14.

The RSA has urged parents and teachers to put road safety on top of the 'back to school' checklist.

Four children under the age of 14 have died on Irish roads already this year - with 32 dying on Irish roads between 2011 and 2015.

Of these 32, 14 were pedestrians, while two were pedal cyclists.

RSA chief executive Moyagh Murdoch encouraged parents to insist on their children wearing reflective clothing. "Don't leave them standing on the side of the road in the dark to wait for a bus. Make sure they know that when they're on the bus, they should wear their seatbelt at all times and never stand while the bus is moving," Ms Murdoch said.

"Motorists should also be on the look-out for children making their journey to school and to modify their behaviour accordingly."

Garda Chief Superintendent Aidan Reid said: "It's critical we do everything we can to ensure their safety on the roads."

This includes wearing high-vis material when out walking or cycling, using a seatbelt or appropriate restraint when travelling by car or bus, and using safety gear such as a helmet.

He said: "It's also really important that adults and young adults demonstrate safe behaviour around young people, so if you're a parent, grandparent, older brother or sister, make sure you set a good example any time you use the road."

Meanwhile, the RSA plans to add a new section to the Theory Test that deals specifically with drink-driving this year.

"We did look back on the existing theory test and realised there probably isn't enough emphasis on those areas [effects of drink and drugs on driving]," Ms Murdoch said.

"Fatal collisions and the Garda statistics would show that it actually is a bigger problem in the under-24s," she added.

Irish Independent

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