Ireland sees increasing child casualties on roads

DUBLIN, Aug. 2 (Xinhua) -- There has been an alarming increase in the number of child, cyclist and pedestrian casualties on Irish roads in the first seven months of 2014, according to a review published on Saturday.

The review of Ireland's road safety performance, jointly published by the Road Safety Authority (RSA) and An Garda Siochana (the Irish national police service), indicated that from January to July 2014 there were 104 fatal collisions, which resulted in 113 deaths.

Thirteen children under the age of 16 have died in the first seven months of the year, seven were pedestrians and six were car passengers, according to the review.

Seven children lost their lives in the whole of last year. This means that the number of child casualties so far this year has already exceeded the total number of child deaths in 2013.

The review said pedestrians account for the greatest proportion of vulnerable road user deaths. Twenty-three pedestrians died between January and July which was an increase of nine deaths.

Nine cyclists have lost their lives on the roads, compared to five in the whole of 2013.

Last year saw a spike in motorcycle casualties, and this pattern is being repeated in 2014. A total of 15 motorcycle users have died in collisions.

The only area where an improvement was recorded was the number of driver deaths, which dropped from 55 deaths up to the end of July 2013 to 45 in 2014, according to the review.

A RSA statistical prediction for year-end 2014 estimated that the total number of fatalities for 2014 could be in the range of 156 to 216.

There is a high likelihood that fatalities for 2014 could be around 186 or worse if the current trend is not reversed.