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Thursday 19 October 2017

Slow drivers urged -- let other cars pass

John Fallon

A CAMPAIGN to target the dangers caused by slow drivers has been unveiled.

But the 'drive' does not want motorists to start going at speeds they are not comfortable with, but aims to get them to pull in and let others pass.

The drive has been launched by Mayo County Council after it was discovered that almost 7pc of accidents in the county were caused by improper overtaking.

Some of the accidents were caused by reckless overtaking but in other cases the accident resulted from a driver passing particularly slow vehicles.

Mayo Road Safety Officer Noel Gibbons said that those who drove too slowly without considering other road users may be contributing to the high toll of collisions.

"Motorists can experience increased stress levels and heightened irritability when faced with a vehicle driving slower than the rest of the traffic," he said.

Mr Gibbons said that while people complained about speeding, drink driving and tailgating, there were other types of drivers who were a risk to themselves and others.

"Slow drivers may unknowingly contribute to other motorists making sometimes fatal overtaking manoeuvres. We are asking drivers to regularly check mirrors and be aware of what is behind your vehicle.

"What they should endeavour to do is drive at the speed appropriate to the conditions. If they're not comfortable in doing that, we're not asking them to speed up, we're asking them to give way to following vehicles.

"They must be aware of the tail of vehicles behind them and by ignoring that, they're actually driving without due care and attention. The premise is simple: reduce the need to overtake, and it follows there would be less overtaking collisions."

A survey found that in the period from 1996-2010, 6.6pc of all accidents in Co Mayo were caused by improper overtakings. Five of these resulted in fatalities. Speeding accounted for 41 of the 124 fatalities in Mayo during that period.

Mr Gibbons said a driver was not entitled to tailgate and intimate a slower motorist.

"The drivers of faster moving vehicles don't have the 'right' to intimidate slower drivers off the road.

"We are just asking that drivers, whether slow or fast, to appreciate they are not alone on the road network and that they have obligations to all other drivers," he added.

Irish Independent

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