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Joint Press Release - Vulnerable Road Users 

Kildare County Council, Wicklow County Council & An Garda Síochána

The May bank holiday weekend tends to see an increase in the more vulnerable road users, such as pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists using the roads. Motorists are being urged to watch out for vulnerable road users in a joint road safety campaign between Kildare County Council, Wicklow County Council and An Garda Síochána. 

Last year, 44 pedestrians, 8 cyclists and 26 motorcyclists died on our roads. 

An Garda Síochána will be out in force on roads across the country over the bank holiday weekend. All road users are being encouraged to share the road safely and watch out for each other while on their journeys. 

Motorists are being urged to be extra vigilant and allow a safe passing distance for pedestrians and cyclists. They are also being urged to look twice at junctions for any approaching motorcyclists before they emerge from a junction.

There are many popular routes throughout Kildare and Wicklow for cyclists and motorcyclists, and these routes are also popular with motorists too. 

This joint road safety campaign is also appealing to motorcyclists to recognise their vulnerability and responsibility to themselves and to ride safely. Motorcyclists have less protection than a car driver if involved in a collision. So, if something goes wrong, regardless of who is at fault, the consequences for motorcyclists can be catastrophic. While many motorcyclists continue to ride safely and within the speed limit, some others, however, appear not to. Those riders are being urged to ease off the throttle and keep within the speed limit.  

Pedestrian safety is also a key part of keeping vulnerable road users safe. As a pedestrian, it’s important that you practice good road safety and take personal responsibility in keeping yourself safe on our roads. If there is no footpath, you must walk as near as possible to the right-hand side of the road, facing oncoming traffic. Pedestrians are encouraged to make themselves more visible to other road users while out walking. Motorists should also be more aware of their surroundings and watch out for people walking along the road.

Motorists should expect increased numbers of cyclists on the roads over the weekend and should be extra vigilant, allow safe passing distances, and not to take chances when overtaking. Cyclists are encouraged to be visible to other road users and keep your bicycle lights in good working order. They should also signal in plenty of time to allow others to react to your movements.

Kildare County Council’s Road Safety Officer Declan Keogh said “Everyone using the roads should always do so with safety and care in mind and be mindful of the expected increase in vulnerable road users along their route. Excessive speed and careless driving have sadly led to serious and fatal collisions in the past. We’re appealing to all road users, the most vulnerable and the not so vulnerable, to be extra careful and courteous to each other on the road.” 

Garda Inspector Ronan MacDonald of the Kildare Roads Policing Unit said: “As we approach another Bank holiday weekend, we remind all road users to think about road safety. Always ask yourself am I positively contributing to making the roads a safer place. We urge all motorcyclists to be extra cautious this weekend. Wear appropriate safety clothing/equipment and make sure your motorcycle is roadworthy. All road users should consider that taking unnecessary risks may impact on people’s lives. An Garda Síochána will be conducting a Roads Policing Operation this may Bank holiday weekend. We ask all road users, whether you drive, ride, cycle, run or walk, to do so with care and to make sure you get home to loved ones safely.”

Wicklow County Council’s Road Safety Officer Linda Healy said: “The Bank Holiday weekend is a great occasion to be out enjoying our wonderful countryside and taking part in activities. As this can lead to an increase in traffic on our roads, all road users are being urged to take notice of more vulnerable road users such as cyclists, pedestrians, and motorcyclists. It is important that we work together to share and make our roads a safer place. 

Research shows that there is an increase in road traffic collisions over bank holidays, but these can be avoided if we all make responsible choices when using the roads. We are appealing to all road users to take extra care on our roads this weekend”. 

Garda Inspector Michelle Byrne of the Wicklow Roads Policing Unit said: “Gardaí will be out in force on our roads again this bank holiday weekend and I am calling on all road users to respect their fellow road users and to share the road safely.  To date this year 69 persons have lost their lives on Irish Roads, this is an increase of 16 for the same period last year.  

An Garda Síochána strongly appeal to drivers to never ever drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs.  Let’s work together to have no more tragedy on our roads over this Bank Holiday campaign; use our roads wisely and get home safe to your family and friends this weekend.”


Kildare County Council, Wicklow County Council & An Garda Síochána