Pedestrian road safety campaign launched

Monday 06 May 2013 17.28
Cross border campaign has been timed to coincide with UN Global Road Safety Week
Cross border campaign has been timed to coincide with UN Global Road Safety Week

Road-users across Ireland are being urged to support UN Global Road Safety Week, which gets underway today.

This year, the focus will be on pedestrian safety.

37 pedestrians were killed on Ireland's roads, north and south of the border last year.

28 of the people were killed in the Republic alone.

The number of pedestrian fatalities so far this year rose to 16.

At the weekend after a teenage boy died after being knocked-down in Newtownstewart in Co Tyrone on Saturday.

The aim of the campaign is to encourage road-users to adjust their behaviour and to share the road responsibly.

Globally, more than 5,000 pedestrians are killed on the roads each week.

The Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar said pedestrians were among the most at risk road users.

He said "I encourage everyone to be extra safety-conscious during UN Global Road Safety Week and to watch out for other road-users, particularly vulnerable pedestrians."

Northern Ireland Environment Minister Alex Attwood said: "The recent sharp spike in road deaths in the first four months of the year - north and south, calls on all of us to work harder, drive safer and campaign more. If we share the road, we have to share the responsibility.

"Unlike motor vehicles, pedestrians do not have any protection upon collision. Even a low-speed collision can result in death," he said.

Assistant Garda Commissioner Gerard Phillips advised pedestrians using rural roads without a footpath to walk on the right hand side facing oncoming traffic and always wear some form of high visibility clothing.