ALMOST half of those killed on Cork’s roads last year were pedestrians, new figures reveal.
Provisional garda statistics show that there were 16 people killed in road collisions in 2018 — up two on the previous year.
Last year’s statistics include 16-year-old Roisin Mae O’Donovan, who died after being hit by a car in Ballincollig on New Year’s Eve.
She was one of seven pedestrians who died in 2018, compared with just one pedestrian in 2017.
Eight drivers and one passenger were also among the fatalities in Cork in 2018. The victims included 12 males and four females, aged from 16 to 92 years old. No cyclist was killed last year.
In 2017, there were seven drivers, three passengers and three cyclists killed.
Superintendent Pat Lehane of the southern regional roads policing unit said pedestrians and cyclists are particularly vulnerable.
He urged them to wear fluorescent clothing and to carry a light, and to walk or cycle on the correct side of the road. Cyclists should be travelling in the same direction as traffic, while walkers should be going against the traffic.
He added: “They should take responsibility for their safety. They must be seen on the road. They are competing with motorised vehicles.”
Supt Lehane said a further three months of dark evenings and mornings are ahead, with compromised vision for road users.
He advised motorists: “Drive at speeds that are appropriate for the conditions.” He pointed out that roads can be very greasy at this time of the year and that there are also low-hanging tree and vegetation to contend with.
He continued: “Be conscious of visibility, the road surface, and weather conditions.”
Nationally, up to 3pm on New Year’s Eve, 149 people had lost their lives on Ireland’s roads as a result of 142 fatal crashes, compared to 156 lives lost in 141 fatal crashes in 2017.
Chairwoman of the Road Safety Authority, Liz O’Donnell, said: “2018 saw the introduction of very important road safety legislation. If motorists comply with these new provisions it will translate into lives saved and injuries prevented. Garda Roads Policing numbers increased in 2018, and there is a commitment from An Garda Síochána to further increase numbers in 2019 to meet original targets.
Among new laws introduced is the Clancy Amendment, named after Kilworth mother and daughter Geraldine and Louise Clancy who died in a collision with an unaccompanied learner driver in December 2015.
It makes it an offence for the owner of a vehicle to knowingly allow an unaccompanied learner or an unlicensed person to drive his or her vehicle.