| 14.2°C Dublin

Garda blitz on daredevil city cyclists

CYCLISTS who break lights and road laws will be saddled with harsh penalties after gardai launched a new offensive in the capital.

The clampdown comes as part of the Casualty Reduction Implementation Plan was launched.

Figures showed three quarters of those killed or seriously injured in city road accidents were cyclists or pedestrians.

Gardai will target speeding motorists, but also cyclists and even pedestrians who cross the roads at unofficial cross points.

Some 76pc of those killed or seriously hurt in 51 crashes in the Dublin area have been on foot or on a bike.

Pedestrians are in greatest danger in 50kph speed zones and at evening rush hour Monday to Friday. Almost eight in 10 of these accidents happened in the 50kph speed limit zones in dry weather.

The risk zone for fatal car crashes involving speeding and alcohol is Friday and Saturday night between 12am-4am.

Cyclists who go through red lights, cycle on footpaths or travel the wrong way on a one-way street will also feel "the full rigours of the law".

Similarly, pedestrians who cross roads at unofficial crossing points should also prepare for a garda interview and possible prosecution.

And motorbikers who speed between junctions, particularly in the 50kph zone, are to face greater enforcement.

The campaign will run in Dublin for eight weeks with electronic messaging at Luas stops and roadside messages while buses and shelters will carry road safety posters.

Speaking at the launch of the scheme yesterday, Assistant Commissioner Gerry Phillips described the 49 people killled on Dublin roads over the past decade as unacceptable high.

He said: "People have to be responsible on the road."