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'Conor could easily have killed himself driving at 154kph' - road safety boss

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Conor McGregor outside court. Photo: PA

Conor McGregor outside court. Photo: PA

Conor McGregor outside court. Photo: PA

Conor McGregor could have killed himself driving at speeds of more than 150kph, says the boss of the Road Safety Authority (RSA).

The MMA fighter received a six-month ban on Wednesday for driving at 154kph on a 100kph zone of the N7 in Kildare last year. It was his 12th driving conviction.

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Moyagh Murdock

Moyagh Murdock

Moyagh Murdock

Speaking to the Herald, RSA boss Moyagh Murdock said the fighter "appeared repentant" outside Naas District Court.

However, she said she would welcome him "speaking out" and acknowledging that driving at that speed was "completely inappropriate behaviour".

"It could have resulted in a serious collision. It could even have killed him, at that speed, in that area," he said.

"I think Conor has been public about saying he was sorry, and obviously realises it will eventually catch up with you one way or the other.

"You get off lightly if it's just a court conviction. Worst-case scenario is you either kill yourself or somebody else."

Ms Murdock was speaking at the launch of the RSA Christmas safety appeal, which targets drink-driving.

Garda figures revealed that 30pc of people detected for drink-driving were millennials.

Ms Murdock said these young people needed to realise the risk they were taking by drinking and driving.

"Alcohol plays a big factor in the millennials' lifetime. They enjoy a good time," she said.

"It's hard for them to step up and say I'll drive tonight or it's my turn, or they're maybe strapped for cash and don't want to order a taxi home.

"The message really is to re-educate those guys and say look, one or two drinks."

She said that "by and large" millennials were inexperienced drivers and that, "combined with just a small amount of alcohol" can make them a danger to themselves, and other road users.

The message was echoed by Assistant Garda Commissioner David Sheahan, who said millennials had not learned the lesson.

He drew attention to the fact that 86pc of convicted drink-drivers were men.

"I would have expected those people who are millennials to have learned from their forefathers that drunk-driving was no longer acceptable, but it's quite clear to me that those people have not.

"They're way over-represented and account for 30pc of all drunk-drivers.

"So my plea to those people this year is if you're going out, I want you to enjoy yourself, but if you're considering taking your car, the consequences are great for you and I would say don't drink and drive."

Speaking about the gender difference, he said it was "unbelievable" that so many men were drinking and driving.

"At least our female cohorts are listening to some of our messages, but obviously the males are not," he added.

Stricter

Meanwhile, Transport Minister Shane Ross said he will introduce new speeding legislation, following on from stricter drink-driving laws introduced this year.

The Independent TD said he expected the bill to receive Dail backing.

He said that despite a slight drop in road deaths on last year, the fall was not enough.

"Speeding is a killer. Drink-driving is a killer. They both kill in almost equal amounts," said Mr Ross.

He said the new legislation would hit high-speed motorists the hardest.

"The faster you drive, the more penalty points you will receive," the minister said.

"I hope to bring it to Cabinet next week or the week after."


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