One-third of all road deaths in 2010 were pedestrians.
21st April 2010: An Garda Síochána are appealing to all road users this May bank holiday to slow down, be vigilant, wear a seatbelt and never drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Tragically, 57 people have lost their lives on Irish roads so far this year; (to 21st April 2010) and six people have died in road traffic collisions during the last seven days.
During the May bank holiday weekend last year, (1st - 4th May 2009 inclusive) 345 people were arrested for driving under the influence. There were five fatal collisions, in which six people were killed. During the Easter weekend, the last bank holiday period this year, over 200 people were arrested for driving while intoxicated.
To date in 2010, one-third of those who lost their lives on Irish roads have been pedestrians (18 in total). Several of these deaths have occurred during the hours of darkness and on rural roads. An Garda Síochána is urging pedestrians to ensure that they are visible to motorists, in particular when walking at night or on roads in rural areas.
Driver fatigue is also a factor in road fatalities and serious injury collisions. Drivers who will be travelling during the holiday weekend should give themselves plenty of time to complete their journey and arrive safely.
Kevin Ludlow, Assistant Commissioner, Traffic, said: “While the trend in fatalities on roads continues to reduce, (down 12 on this time last year) there is no room for complacency. Our plea to all drivers is to slow down, wear your seatbelt, be mindful of the presence of other road users and of course, never drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.”
He added: “As we approach the summer months, An Garda Síochána is appealing to all road users to exercise personal responsibility for their actions. Pedestrians and cyclists must ensure that they can be seen whilst using the roads. The responsibility for road safety rests with everyone using the road network.”
There will be a particular focus this bank holiday weekend on the enforcement of drink-driving legislation, speeding and breaches of the road transport legislation. However any breaches of road traffic legislation will not be taken lightly by members of the Garda Siochana.
An Garda Síochána is also focussing on the need for motorcyclists to be conscious of safety.
Kevin Ludlow, Assistant Commissioner, Traffic, said: “This is the time of year when bikers take to the road and already we have had two fatalities since the beginning of April. Motorcyclists must take precautions to ensure they are visible to other road users and to be particularly alert when driving on unfamiliar roads.”
An Garda Síochána offers the following advice to road users:
Drivers and passengers
Drivers should slow down, wear a seatbelt and never drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Be vigilant approaching areas where there is a high likelihood that pedestrians could be walking on a narrow footpath or at the side of the road, particularly during the hours of darkness.
Passengers must wear a seatbelt and children must be seated in the appropriate child seat or booster seat for their age and height.
In order to prevent driver fatigue, break away from the road and stop in a safe place if you feel tired, then take a short nap and have a cup of coffee.
Wear bright clothing: reflective vests are widely available and can dramatically increase your visibility.
When using country roads with no footpaths, be particularly careful of unexpected cars or motorcycles.
Check your bike thoroughly, particularly if it has not been used since last year, including brakes, tyres (pressure and condition) lights and suspension.
Motorcyclists should ride with caution and are asked to bear in mind the dangers of slow moving vehicles, changes in road surfaces and weather conditions.
Take precautions to ensure you are visible to other road users and be particularly alert when driving on strange roads.
Garda Press Office.