Motorists are being urged to slow down and moderate the driving speed over the Bank Holiday weekend.
From 7am on Friday May 31 to 7am on Saturday, An Garda Síochána, along with other stakeholders, will run Operation “Slow Down”. The objectives of the Operation are to raise awareness of the dangers of inappropriate and excessive speed, reduce the number of speed related collisions, and therefore save lives and reduce injuries on our roads.
For the past seven years, there has been a year on year decrease in the number of road fatalities in Ireland. However, as we move into the second half of 2013, there have been 11 more fatalities on our roads than at this time last year. This brings to 75, the number of people killed in a road traffic collision to date.
Based on collision data to date in 2013 over three quarters (78%) of fatalities have been a driver, passenger or motorcyclist. Similarly more than one third (37%) of fatalities have occurred on Thursdays and Fridays. Excessive or inappropriate speed is a significant contributory factor in road traffic collisions.
Garda Assistant Commissioner Gerard Phillips, in co-operation with other stakeholders nationwide including the Road Safety Authority, Departments of Transport Tourism and Sport, Justice and Equality, and Health, National Roads Authority, National Transport Authority, Health and Safety Authority and local authorities, is appealing to members of the public to Slow down and save lives.
Assistant Commissioner Phillips, speaking today stressed: “We are asking all drivers to make a conscious decision this Friday to “Slow Down” to help save lives. Wherever you see a speed limit sign, please remember it is the maximum that you may travel at on that road, but only when conditions are perfect. When you are faced with adverse weather, road or traffic conditions, the most effective way to keep safe is to slow down and give yourself more time to adapt to all that is happening around you. That speed limit is not a target that must be achieved. We are appealing to all vehicle drivers and riders to keep within the speed limits, and when necessary, slow down. The time lost by reducing your speed by 5 or 10 km/h on a long journey is insignificant, but the increase in road safety terms to you and all around you is very significant.”
He continued: “We particularly wish to thank all the companies, organisations and departments that are supporting An Garda Síochána and the RSA with this important safety initiative. The massive level of support is indicative of the desire and necessity to always keep Road Safety to the forefront of all our minds. Last year’s Slow Down day in July proved that the public can easily change their driver behaviour to make our roads safer, so we appeal again to all drivers and riders to support us, not just for one day but every day after that too.”