The Road Safety Authority (RSA) and An Garda Síochána have appealed to drivers, in the run up to the June Bank Holiday weekend to safe lives by reducing speed and to always drive at a speed appropriate to all the prevailing conditions. Over 70,000 speeding offences have already been detected in 2015. Nearly 80% of those detections were for speeds between 10 and 29 km/h over the posted speed limit. A further 10% were in excess of 30 km/h over the posted speed limit.
Figures show that the June Bank Holiday has consistently been the starting point for what is traditionally the most dangerous period on Ireland’s roads – summertime. In the last five years 256 people have died in June, July and August. Over the next three months it is possible therefore that 51 lives could be lost in summer time crashes on the nation’s roads. The Minister for Transport Tourism and Sport, Mr. Paschal Donohoe T.D., said “Whether it’s farmers out cutting silage, tourists travelling around the country or people heading out for a cycle or walk in the evening, the roads are going to be very busy over the June Bank Holiday and indeed throughout the summer months. So I would appeal to everyone to please take more care on the road. If we watch out for one another and don’t take unnecessary chances we can ensure that we all arrive safely at our destinations.”
Speaking at the launch of the joint campaign, Ms. Moyagh Murdock, Chief Executive, Road Safety Authority said, “People assume that there are more risks in the wintertime because of the poor weather, poor road conditions and more hours of darkness. But the opposite is true. Summertime is more dangerous. Probably because there are no obvious dangers, the weather is fine and days brighter. So we relax our guard. From the June Bank Holiday weekend onwards we really do need to have road safety at the top of our minds. Cyclists, pedestrians and motorcyclists are most at risk and drivers really do need to keep their wits about them, slow down and always be ready to react.”
Chief Superintendent Mark Curran, Garda National Traffic Bureau, speaking at the launch in Garda HQ today said, “We know excessive or inappropriate speed is the main contributory factor in road traffic collisions. If it goes wrong for you on the road, the greater the speed at which you crash, the more severe the consequences will be. Already there have been in excess of 70,000 drivers detected speeding in 2015, with the vast majority travelling far in excess of what is legally permitted including one driver detected travelling at nearly 200 km/h . This is incredibly dangerous and totally unacceptable. Please help us to make the summer months ahead, what is traditionally a high risk period on the roads, a safe and enjoyable one for all road users. Reduce speed, drive to all the prevailing conditions, and watch out for all other road users.”
In a further practical effort to promote road safety ahead of the June Bank Holiday Weekend the RSA, An Garda Síochána and Applegreen are planning an initiative aimed at tired drivers. On Friday 29th May, and Monday 1st June Applegreen will provide free coffee to tired drivers between 2pm and 8pm at 17 participating service stations around the country. Drivers simply mention the ‘RSA’ to the till operator and they will receive a free cup of coffee on Friday and Monday.