Safety plea after rise in bike and motorbike deaths causes alarm
Road safety chiefs have expressed concern at the rising number of motorbike and pedal bike fatalities on Irish roads this year.
Gardai said nearly one in five fatal accidents since the start of January have involved either motorbike riders (nine) or pedal cyclists (six).
The 15 deaths represent 18pc of the 87 lives lost on Irish roads so far this year. Fatal accidents are up nearly 7pc overall on comparable figures last year.
While 87 people had been killed on the roads up to last evening, 82 died in the same period last year, which ranked as the safest 12 months on Irish roads with the lowest level of fatalities recorded.
The latest person to die was an 18-year-old motorcyclist involved in a collision with a car in Cork on Thursday.
The victim, named locally as Craig Murphy, from Buttevant, Co Cork, died at the scene before he could be transferred to Cork University Hospital (CUH).
The accident happened at Knockane, Ballyclough, Mallow, shortly after 7.30pm.
The motorbike was in collis- ion with a car driven by a man in his early 70s.
The driver was uninjured, but was treated at the scene for shock.
It was the second fatal motor- cycle accident in Cork in a month.
Gardai, the Road Safety Authority (RSA) and safety groups have focused on emphasising the safe driving message and cracking down on both speeding and drink-driving.
Of the 87 deaths so far this year, 48 were drivers, 14 were pedestrians and 10 were pass-engers.
The rising death toll has prompted safety pleas from both gardai and RSA boss Moyagh Murdock to help prevent further tragedies.
"We are urging all road users, particularly motorists and drivers of large vehicles, to make sure they slow down, allow a safe passing distance and be safe out there," she said.
Motorists are asked to be particularly mindful of pedestrians, cyclists and motorbike riders.