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‘Slow Down For Us’ this August weekend says An Garda Síochána

August Bank Holiday appeal targets families and friends of young male drivers.


An Garda Síochána will target the families and friends of young male drivers this August Bank Holiday Weekend, with a traffic appeal titled ‘Slow Down For Us’. The appeal will call on the families and friends of young male drivers to ask them to slow down on the roads over the holiday weekend. Young male drivers account for the largest number of fatalities on Irish roads.


The August Bank Holiday weekend in 2008 accounted for the second highest number of fatal collisions for a Bank Holiday period and saw four (4) people lose their lives on Irish roads. Two of these drivers were in the 16-30 age group, so An Garda Síochána is appealing to all road users, and in particular young male drivers, to slow down and take care on the roads. 


Provisional figures (to 23rd July 2009) show that a total of 142 people have lost their lives on Ireland’s roads so far this year.


Male drivers account for 79% of all fatalities; young male drivers continue to be the most vulnerable road users however, accounting for 41% of driver fatalities. 67% of all road fatalities are drivers and passengers in cars.


Garda enforcement over the Bank Holiday weekend will focus on areas identified as having the greatest propensity for collisions. These ‘Collision Prone Zones’ are detailed in full on the Garda website at www.Garda.ie. While the majority of speed enforcement activity will focus on these areas, further enforcement activity may also be conducted outside in other locations, depending on local requirements.


Commenting on the campaign, Superintendent Gabriel McIntyre, Garda National Traffic Bureau said: “Enforcement is an essential part of An Garda Síochána’s work when it comes to regulating and controlling road traffic and improving road safety. However, voluntary compliance by all road users is crucial in supporting our goal of reducing incidents of serious and fatal collisions on Irish roads.”


He added: “This Bank Holiday weekend, we appeal not only to young male drivers to heed their speed, but also ask people to remind their cherished sons, brothers, friends and boyfriends to curb their speed and be aware of their responsibility on the roads.”


Alcohol continues to be a major road safety concern in terms of fatalities and serious injuries on Irish roads. International research indicates that alcohol is a contributory factor in up to 40% of road collisions, while in Ireland it has been found to be a factor in 36% of fatal collisions (2003 to 2005).


An Garda Síochána appeals to motorcyclists to set their speed according to their surroundings. Damp sections of road can pose particular problems for motorcyclists, as can loose surfaces like gravel and dirt. Often there can be a build up of loose stones in winding or steep roads, so extra caution should be applied in these conditions.


Chief Superintendent McIntyre appealed to motorcyclists to consider the safety of their friends this Bank Holiday weekend. He stated: “Motorcycling is a new experience for many people and we appeal to people to consider this when asking friends to ride in a group. Your friends may not be as competent as you think, so if you have a concern about a particular aspect of their ability, then make sure you communicate with them.”


He commented: “If you are a ‘born again rider’, your riding skills may not be what they used to be and you may need to need to up-date your skills now. If you are on an unfamiliar bike, be aware that its dynamics may be very different to what you’re used to.”


Garda Press Office.
13:30 hrs 24/7/09