Gardaí launch road safety campaign ahead of Bank holiday

Longford Leader Reporter

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As the May Bank Holiday Weekend approaches, An Garda Siochana are anxious to ensure anyone using a vehicle is aware of their ‘Bank Holiday Enforcement Campaign’.

The aim of the campaign is to increase compliance among road users and improve overall road safety. To achieve this, Garda resources will be deployed and motorists are urged to travel at appropriate speeds, avoid distractions, restrain from drink driving and wear their seatbelts, which are the greatest contributory factors to road deaths and serious injuries in Ireland.

They warn that the Bank Holiday weekend is a high risk period due to high volumes of traffic on national roads. They have called on drivers to remain vigilant at all times and to take all the necessary steps to ensure their safety and the safety of other road users. They have also advised that drivers should allow plenty of time for their journeys and urged them not to drive if they are tired.

Drivers are also advised to pay close attention to speed limit signs, especially when entering built up areas. Garda enforcement activity will be conducted on sections of the road network that have a propensity for speed related collisions and will target all vehicles, including commercial vehicles of all classifications.

They have strongly advised that all motorists and passengers wear their seat belts at all times or “Don’t take a chance, buckle up”. Cyclists and pedestrians are advised to wear appropriate clothing upon darkness falling. Cyclists have been warned to make sure their lighting is in correct working order at all times. Pedestrians and cyclists are encouraged to wear a hi-vis jacket when using roads.

As part of the Bank Holiday Enforcement campaign, gardaí will be patrolling the road network throughout Western region over the May Bank Holiday weekend period, in both marked and unmarked vehicles. They would like to remind drivers that in addition to mandatory breath testing, they can breath-tested if they commit any road traffic offence.

Noel Kelly, Regional Roads Policing Superintendent said, “I would remind drivers of the dangers of driving the morning after the night before. 12% of all drink driving arrests occur between 8am and 2pm and of those, almost a third happen on a Sunday, peaking between 11am and 2pm.” 

“So it is critical that drivers take measures to ensure their safety and the safety of others and this means leaving the car at home and taking a taxi or public transport the morning after if they need to get somewhere. It’s just not worth the chance if you are still over the legal limit.”

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Mr Kelly said the safest option for those going out socialising, is to organise their lift home prior to heading out.

“The safest thing to do if you’re heading out for the night is to plan your journey home by organising a lift, a taxi or using public transport. I would also encourage people to look out for each other – if your friend or relative is under the influence of alcohol, make sure they get home safely.”

“An Garda Síochána are asking all road users to act responsibly and safely on the roads. Drink-driving destroys lives – at best, you could lose your licence but far worse, and far more difficult to live with, is the possibility of seriously injuring or killing someone on the roads. The stark reality is that to date this year, 53 people have been killed on Irish roads. Eight (8) people have been killed on Western roads to date in 2019.” Noel Kelly concluded.

The campaign will primarily target motorists using mobile phones while driving, speeding, driving while intoxicated, failing to wear seat belts and driving carelessly or dangerously.