One sixth of those killed on roads under 20
ONE in six people killed on the roads so far this year is under 20 years of age.
Garda figures show that 115 people died on the roads up to last Tuesday -- eight fewer than in the same period last year -- and that 19 of the fatalities were young adults aged between 16 and 20.
The figure accounts for one in six of all fatalities so far this year.
The Road Safety Authority (RSA) last night urged the 58,000 Leaving Cert students receiving their results today to slow down and avoid becoming another statistic.
"It has been a long year of hard work so make sure tonight is a night of celebration and not one of tragedy," RSA chief executive Noel Brett said.
"Make mature and sensible choices about how you get to your destination. Consider using public transport to get to and from your destination safely.
"If you choose to drive, make safe choices about who you give a lift to as they may influence how you behave on the roads. Never drive faster than the speed limit, make sure you and your passengers wear seatbelts and never ever drink or drug drive. Don't throw all your hard work away for a short trip."
The RSA is also asking TV, radio, music and sports personalities who have a large number of young followers to tweet a message to stay safe on the roads tonight.
Regular road safety tips will also be posted on the RSA's Twitter page -- @RSAIreland -- and on Facebook by searching for 'Road Safety Authority'.
Meanwhile, Alcohol Action Ireland (AAI) has urged parents to talk to their children about their Leaving Cert celebration plans saying they have an important role in ensuring students don't drink to damaging levels.
Fiona Ryan, director of AAI, said: "We would urge parents to ask what their child's plans are for the evening, ask where they are going, who they are going with, how and when they plan on getting home.
"Remind them that they don't have to drink and while you may not be happy about their decision to drink, if they find themselves in trouble, as a parent tell them you would much prefer they call home than fear the consequences of their drinking," she added.
Ms Ryan said new research had shown that Irish teenagers were drinking at a younger age than ever before.