Kilkenny drivers are being urged to slow down and stay safe this bank holiday weekend.
Chief Superintendent Hennebry, Garda National Roads Policing Bureau appealed to motorists to stick to the speed limits and help save lives.
“We want everyone to enjoy their Bank Holiday weekend so are asking people to consider the safety of all road users and support An Garda Síochána in our efforts to keep all people safe, particularly as we focus on speeding and other life-saver offences this holiday weekend. If you are heading on staycation this weekend, please leave yourself plenty of time to get to your destination. Take breaks and if you feel tired, pull over. Make sure that caravans and other loads are properly secured before you start your journey. Finally, we would appeal to motorists visiting tourist spots and beaches to park legally and be mindful of emergency vehicles requiring access to such areas.”
Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Ms. Hildegarde Naughton said: “Any reduction in lives lost on Irish roads is to be welcomed; however, the increase in fatalities on rural roads is very concerning.
Behavioural changes due to the pandemic, such as remote working, are visible in the collision patterns this year. The traditional rush hour periods are less pronounced in the road safety statistics compared to pre Covid-19 and we have seen a huge drop in collisions happening overnight. The riskiest time on our roads is now in the middle of the day and evening. With our roads busier than ever as people holiday across the island, we all need take care and be mindful of other road users on every trip.”
Mr Sam Waide, Chief Executive, Road Safety Authority said: “While road deaths may be down this year, it should be viewed against an increase in deaths in 2020. Deaths fell in most European countries due to the Covid-19 pandemic last year, but not in Ireland. As a result, Ireland has slipped from second safest country in the EU 27 to fifth.”
“Our own research is telling us that one factor behind this is a deterioration in road user behaviour. The Driver Attitudes & Behaviour Survey which we conducted late last year revealed more drivers admitting to speeding in 50km and 100km speed zones. It also showed an increase in motorists texting while driving plus driving while fatigued and nodding off while behind the wheel. This research confirms what our colleagues in An Garda Síochána are seeing in reality on the roads, with many drivers taking unnecessary risks. More drivers and motorcyclists have been killed on the road in 2021, so I’m asking everyone who gets behind the wheel to slow down and stay focused, especially as traffic volumes increase and return to normal levels in the coming months,” concluded Mr. Waide.
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