Sunday 24 September 2017

'Parents need to take more responsibility for learner drivers' - RSA Chief Executive

RSA chief executive Moyagh Murdock. Photo: Damien Eagers
RSA chief executive Moyagh Murdock. Photo: Damien Eagers
Amy Molloy

Amy Molloy

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) is calling on parents to stop allowing learner drivers to drive family cars unaccompanied.

Chief Executive Moyagh Murdock says parents have an obligation to ensure that young adults are accompanied at all times in a car.

“If they are not satisfied they are a safe driver, then they should not be given the family car,” she told Independent.ie.

“A lot of these crashes happen in the parents’ vehicles. They need to be aware that it is up to them to take the time out to ensure their children are learning to drive appropriately. They have a responsibility to build up that experience with that young driver.

“We see too many parents taking a step back and allowing their young people to drive unaccompanied. They know they are going out at night in the family car unaccompanied and they have questions to answer too,” she said.

Ms Murdock was speaking today at the launch of the RSA’s “Be Safe, Be Seen” campaign ahead of the Bank Holiday weekend.

The RSA, together with An Garda Síochána, are urging road users to ensure they can be clearly seen when out on the roads.

To date, 159 people have been killed on Irish roads this year, an increase of 32 when compared to the same period last year.

The Chief Executive lamented the increase in road deaths, and stressed that people need to think before they act.

“People are doing the same things – it is speed, it is the alcohol and it is the seatbelts. We are seeing young, inexperienced drivers taking chances.”

Chief Superintendent Aidan Reid echoed Ms Murdock’s sentiments, and urged people to start getting the message about road safety.

“145 people are arrested per week for driving under the influence. 4,000 people per week are detected speeding. 500 People are detected a week for driving while using mobile phones. It is about identifying the areas where this is happening.

“This is about personal responsibility and people taking responsibility for their actions. People are not heeding our message to never drink and drive and not to speed,” he said.

When asked about how the impending garda strikes will affect road safety, Mr Reid stated: “We have arrangements in place at garda management level to maintain contact with the public and we are asking the public to comply with road safety.”

Minister for Transport Shane Ross was also in attendance and says the number of road deaths on Irish roads is worrying.

“It is a really grim situation. I think it is time to ring the alarm bells and say we cannot tolerate a situation like this. There’s 25pc increase in the last year which is absolutely tragic. There is a trend developing which is very worrying.”

To help drivers stay alert behind the wheel over the Bank Holiday, Applegreen will be providing free cups of coffee to drivers between 2pm and 8pm on Friday and Monday.

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