2010 News

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21 October 2010

Road Safety Chief pleads with Parents over incidents involving young drivers and passengers

October Bank Holiday Road Safety Appeal Issued

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) is directing its October Bank Holiday road safety message at young adults, particularly passengers, as road collision figures indicate that those aged between 16 and 25 have accounted for almost 3 out of every 5 passenger deaths (59%) on our roads in 2010.

Commenting on the high number of recent incidents involving passengers aged 16 to 25 Mr Noel Brett, Chief Executive, Road Safety Authority had this special bank holiday message “If out socialising over the weekend, have fun but please don’t become a headline in the news because you made bad choices. If you intend to take a lift from a friend, be sure you trust his or her driving. Ask yourself, is the car overcrowded? Has the driver been drinking or taking drugs? If you have any doubts, don’t be afraid to speak out and do not put your life in someone else’s hands.”

Mr. Brett also pleaded with parents to become more assertive in supervising their young drivers, “be satisfied that the car they are driving is roadworthy and spend time supervising their learning to drive. Look out for the signs of high risk behaviour. For example, do they return home with a damaged vehicle? Do they wear out tyres too quickly and regularly? Do they drive unaccompanied or with groups of their peers? If your teenager is travelling as a passenger, satisfy yourself that the driver is fully qualified and responsible. An uncomfortable conversation with your son or daughter today may well prevent years of guilt, trauma and heartbreak”

Minister for Transport, Mr. Noel Dempsey, T.D. also had a message for road users, “Although the number of road deaths to date in 2010 is down on the same period last year, frankly there’s nothing to cheer about because we continue to pay an unacceptable toll on our roads. 173 lives have been lost in communities around the country and over 1,000 people have been seriously injured. In the last seven days alone eight people have been killed in road crashes.”

Echoing the advice of the Road Safety Authority the Minister said, “Every time we use the roads we make decisions that have consequences not only for us but for others. Make the right decisions by, slowing down, and wearing seatbelts, designating a driver or using alternative transport. If out walking or cycling wear high-visibility jackets or armbands. If we are not prepared to make the right choices others will be forced to make them for us. For example the Gardai will have no option but to enforce our life saving road safety laws or the emergency services that will be forced to make life saving decisions.”

Assistant Commissioner, John Twomey, Traffic, on behalf of An Garda Síochána, is appealing to young male drivers to “Slow down and take safety seriously” this October Bank Holiday weekend.

He added: “Young people should think twice before getting into a car with a driver who takes chances. The statistics show that in the event of a serious collision there is a greater chance that the passengers are at greater risk of death or serious injury.”

Bank holiday weekends are notoriously dangerous periods for all road users as the number of people travelling on roads nationwide increases dramatically. A total of five people were killed and four seriously injured in traffic crashes over the October Bank Holiday weekend last year.

For those intending to travel by road over the coming bank holiday weekend the RSA has the following advice:

Drivers

Always drive at an appropriate speed for the conditions and circumstances

Never ever drink and drive, designate a driver or use alternative transport

Wear a seat belt and ensure all passengers front and rear are wearing theirs too

Improve your visibility on the roads by driving with your dipped headlights on

Plan your journey in advance and set off as early as possible to avoid heavy traffic

Take frequent breaks to avoid tiredness / driver fatigue

Be extra alert. Drivers heading off on a weekend break have a tendency to relax their guard, so be especially alert if driving on unfamiliar roads around your destination

Pedestrians

Walk on a footpath, not in the road

Walk on the right hand side of the road, facing traffic if there are no footpaths

Be seen. If walking at night wear a high-visibility jacket, armband and carry a torch.

Cyclists / Motorcyclists

Don’t weave in and out of traffic

Avoid driver’s blind spots

Be seen wear a high-visibility jacket

Use your lights day and night

A total of 152 people have been killed or seriously injured  in October Bank Holiday crashes between 2001 and 2008 (see Table 1 Below). For further information on road safety please visit www.rsa.ie

For further information please contact; For further information:

RSA Communications Office: 096 25008

Table 1. October Bank Holiday, Killed & Seriously Injured Collision Statistics 2001 to 2008

Year No.Killed No. Seriously Injured KSI
2001 4 21 25
2002 8 23 31
2003 6 11 17

2004

4 9 13
2005 5 15 20
2006 3 9 12

2007

6 6 12
2008 3 10 13

2009(Provisional)

5 4 9

Total

44 108 152

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