Week of road carnage continues as man dies after being struck by truck
A pedestrian in his sixties died in the early hours of this morning after he was struck by a truck on Wednesday night.
Gardai in Listowel are investigating the fatal road traffic collision which occurred on the Finuge to Abbeydorney Road at Bealkilla, Lixnaw at approximatel7 10.40pm.
The pedestrian was struck by a lorry and taken to University Hospital Kerry.
He passed away in the early hours of this morning. The lorry driver was uninjured.
The road was closed and Forensic Collision Investigators attended at the scene.
The road has since been re-opened to traffic.
Gardaí are appealing for witnesses who may have driven on the road last night, to contact Listowel Garda Station, the Garda Confidential Line 1 800 666 111 or any Garda Station.
The death of the man brings Ireland's road death toll to 126 so far this year. It is also the fifth death on Ireland's roads in just five days.
The road death toll has increased by 18pc this year compared with the same period in 2015.
"There have been 125 deaths on our roads compared to 106 in the same period in 2015," an RSA spokesperson told Independent.ie yesterday, before the latest fatality was recorded.
"It is too early to say what is causing the rise in the deaths. However, we have noticed a marked increase (+27pc) in the number of vehicle occupant deaths."
Figures from the Road Safety Authority indicate that, however, that there has been "an overall slight decline in vulnerable road user deaths".
However, following the death of cyclist Donna Fox, who was hit by a truck in Dublin's city centre yesterday, concerns are growing over road safety as her death brings to nine the number of cyclists killed on the roads so far this year.
Furthermore, the fatality brings to six the number of people who have died on our roads in the first six days of this month.
"It's not a good year so far - even one death is too many," the AA's Conor Faughnan told independent.ie .
"But it is important to remember that, at the turn of the century, our millenium goals were to reduce an annual figure of around 450 road deaths.
"In years gone by, breath tests, speed cameras, penalty points and the traffic corps - all these would not have existed before we started lobbying for them. Now people just accept them as normal."
According to Mr Faughnan, though, the AA's concern is that road safety has fallen lower on the priority list for the Government.
"The total number of gardai on the Garda Traffic Corps started to diminish in recent years. It was believed the battle was won as regards road safety," he said.
"They are in the process of correcting that but it will take time. Strengthening the GTC is one of THE most important measures you can take."
The spokesperson for the RSA has advised road users to be extra vigilant as using the roads is "the most dangerous thing you will do".
"The faster you are travelling the less time you will have to react if needed. If you are out socialising please plan how you will get home.
"We thought drink driving was a thing of the past but according to our Pre Crash Report on alcohol as a factor in fatal collisions from 2008 to 2012 it is still a road safety issue."