Thursday 22 March 2018

Garda appeal ahead of national ‘Slow Down’ day

Anita McSorley

Gardai have urged drivers to reduce their speed ahead of the June Bank Holiday weekend.

Figures show that the June Bank Holiday has consistently been the most dangerous weekend. 

Over the past two June Bank Holidays, 11 people were killed and a further 16 were seriously injured.

National ‘Slow Down’ day takes place for a 24-hour period from 7am on Friday to 7am on Saturday.

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) and gardai are behind the initiative.

Minister for Transport Tourism and Sport, Leo Varadker T.D is also supporting the initiative. 

“We should all work together to ensure we do not have a repeat of such carnage this year. Speed is still one of the biggest risk factors. By slowing down we reduce the likelihood of a crash, and the severity of injuries,” he said.

Over 80,000 drivers have been caught speeding so far this year, said Assistant Commissioner John Twomey, of the Garda National Traffic Bureau, at the launch of the campaign.

“Excessive or inappropriate speed remains a significant contributory factor in road traffic collisions. Unfortunately, many drivers believe they are immune to the laws of physics as over 80,000 fixed charged notices have already been issued for speeding so far this year, an increase of over 20% compared to 2013 figures,” he said.

He also cautioned drivers that Gardaí will have an increased presence over the weekend.

“To support the initiative, and for those that refuse to heed the safety messages and put the lives of other road users at risk, all members of An Garda Síochána will be specifically targeting motorists exceeding the speed limit over this June Bank Holiday period,” he said.

Also speaking at the launch in Garda HQ today was Moyagh Murdock, Chief Executive of the RSA.

“The June Bank Holiday has been particularly bad over the last two years. But we are also heading into this weekend on the back of a really bad May Bank Holiday when we lost 5 lives on the roads. Of great concern too is the fact that, nationally, we seem to be heading in the same direction as last year. 71 lives have been lost compared to 73 to the same date last year, and last year was our worst in seven years,” she said.

In a further practical effort to promote road safety, Applegreen will provide free cups of coffee to drivers between 2pm and 8pm on national ‘Slow Down’ day for those that mention the RSA in one of the 17 participating stations.

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