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Deaths of people cycling on Irish roads remains at 2021 low, while pedestrian deaths doubled in 2022

Seven people died while cycling on Irish roads in 2022 — the provisional Garda data on road deaths shows the number is static compared to the 2021. But pedestrian deaths doubled in 2022 accounting for the largest part of an overall 13% increase in deaths.

The overall number of deaths on Irish roads in 2022 increased to 155 — that’s 18 more deaths compared to 2021 and 15 more deaths compared to the pre-Covid 2019 figures

The increase in deaths is the first full year of the Government’s Road Safety Strategy 2021 – 2030 which aims to reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries on Irish roads by 50% over the next 10 years and to zero by 2050.

The Road Safety Authority said in a press release: “The figures also indicate that the number of pedestrians killed in 2022 (41, +21) doubled compared to 2021. Despite a decrease in the number of drivers killed (60, -10), drivers still accounted for the highest proportion of fatalities at 39%. The number of passenger fatalities increased (22, +4) a 22% increase. 7 cyclists were killed in 2022, the same number as 2021.”

The number of motorcyclist deaths also increased by one death (from 22 to 23 deaths), and the number of electric scooter fatalities went from zero to one.

In the same press release, the new Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Jack Chambers, said: “I am very concerned that so many lives have been lost on the roads in 2022. The high number of pedestrian deaths, who are the most vulnerable of road users in our community, is also worrying. Working together, we can reverse this trend in 2023. For my part, I am determined to work with all the agencies signed up to the Government’s Road Safety Strategy to action measures to make our roads safe.”

Liz O’Donnell, Chairperson, RSA said: “We simply must get back on track and reverse the increase in deaths. It means that all of us must accept greater responsibility when using the road and become custodians and champions for safety on the road. It also means progressing the 50 high impact and 136 supporting actions in the Road Safety Strategy. By doing this we can save lives and prevent injuries and put us on track to cut road deaths and serious injuries by 50% by 2030.”

Cycling figures

While the number of people cycling who died is the joint second-lowest level on record, it could be even lower as at least one of the cycling deaths involved a medical incident

Gardai issued a press release about seems to be regarding a medical incident, but because of the way the figures are presented, it’s hard to link the Garda and RSA statistics with individual incidents. The Garda Press Office said yesterday that it was unable to give dates and locations of the deaths counted at this time as the office is closed.

This means that 2022 — if the medical incident in the collision was not the reason for the death — could be closer to the lowest number of cycling deaths on Irish roads involved in collisions. The lowest on record in recent decades was 5 in 2010.

This is a list of deaths of people cycling on Irish roads in 2022 known to IrishCycle.com:

  • June 12: It was reported that Pat Kelly died from injuries sustained in a crash during the Wicklow 200 sportive.
  • March 29: Stephen Justie, a man in his 50s, was cycling was found dead on the roadside in Co Kerry. It was reported that it is understood that the man died of natural causes, but that post-mortem examination results were not being revealed for ‘operational reasons’.
  • April 24: Mark Flood, a man in his 60s, died in a collision reportedly involving a gate obstructing the roadway in Co Wexford.
  • August 20: Mick Fleming, a man in his 60s, died after a collision involving a truck driver in Clane, County Kildare.
  • August 3: 59-year-old Donal O’Keeffe died in a collision with a van that was reportedly parked at the time on the N25 at Holmestown, Co Wexford.
  • October 22: 78-year-old Pamela Benson was knocked off her bike in a collision involving a car driver at the Collooney roundabout on the N4 in Co Sligo and she later died in hospital.
  • The detail of one other collision is currently TBC.

For every person killed while cycling on Irish roads, 25 are seriously injured according to the Road Safety Authority. This is notably higher than the overall rate between serious injuries and deaths, which is 9 to 1.

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