Over the past 8 years (2001 to 2008), 39 people have been killed and 102 seriously injured on Irish roads over the October bank holiday period.
These tragic figures were revealed by the Road Safety Authority (RSA) today Friday 23rd October on the eve of the October Bank Holiday weekend which will also see the clocks going back and the official start of wintertime.
To stay safe on the roads Mr. Noel Brett Chief Executive urged drivers to switch their dipped headlights on during the day and asked pedestrians to stand out in traffic by wearing bright or high-vis jackets.
“Last year alone, 3 people were killed and 8 seriously injured over the October bank holiday. Bank holiday weekends are high risk periods for collisions on our roads so we must do everything we can to curb this trend.” Said Mr Brett.
Advising drivers he said “it’s not just at night you need to turn on your lights. Using dipped headlights during the daytime can make it easier to identify oncoming vehicles in the distance and is especially effective in preventing day time head-on collisions. Studies have shown that using Daytime Running Lights is an effective way of reducing collisions by improving visibility on the roads. So this weekend, we are urging road-users to use dipped headlights, even when driving during the daytime, in an effort to prevent collisions”.
Pedestrians and Cyclists are also advised “ ‘to safe be seen’ by wearing bright clothing with reflective armbands or a reflective belt, carry a torch and walk on the footpath not in the street, or if there is no footpath to walk on the right hand side of the road, facing the traffic” added Mr. Brett.
Minister Dempsey: “We are approaching another busy bank holiday weekend ahead with large numbers taking to the roads. I urge all motorists who will be on the move this weekend to buckle up, slow down and never drink and drive. Take the time to plan your journey. Watch out for pedestrians and cyclists and you may just save a life. We all have a responsibility to do what we can to save lives and avoid serious life changing injuries on our roads. Let’s make this weekend the safest bank holiday weekend on record.”
The Road Safety Authority has produced a leaflet advising motorists of the ‘bright thinking’ behind the ‘Lights on to Save Lives’. The leaflet, available online at www.rsa.ie, outlines how the use of dipped headlights can help to reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries on our roads and encourages all motorists to turn their lights on, not just when driving at night-time.
This October Bank Holiday Friday the RSA and Topaz have teamed up to provide up to 20,000 free coffees to drivers at their network of company owned sites all over the country. This weekend the RSA and Topaz are putting the emphasis on the main arterial routes around the country. Research has shown that if tired motorists have a cup of coffee, followed by a 15 minute nap, they can continue driving for a further hour.