As the country prepares to celebrate Christmas and ring in the New Year the Road Safety Authority (RSA) is urging all road users to take personal responsibility for their own safety and the safety of other on the roads.
A total of 2,108 people have been killed and seriously injured in crashes over the traditional Christmas & New Year period between 1997 and 2007.
Urging people to take extra care Mr. Noel Brett, CEO, RSA said “While this may be a time for celebration for most people, tragically there are 234 families sitting down to Christmas dinner, who are grieving the loss of a loved one as a result of a fatal crash in 2009. Let’s ensure that no more families in this country suffer as they do and that this Christmas is a safe one for all.”
Mr. Brett had some practical advice for motorists when going out for a drink over the holidays “Leave the keys at home; get a taxi, minibus, public transport or take turns to designate a driver. And don’t forget that time is the only way to get alcohol out of your system, so don’t assume you are safe to drive the morning after a night out”.
He also asked drivers to “Watch out for pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists, and expect the unexpected. You simply do not know what is waiting around the next corner”.
The RSA also urged motorists to ensure their vehicles are roadworthy for poor weather driving. It is important that vehicle owners check the tread depth and pressure of their tyres and ensure all lights on the vehicle are working properly, if broken replace them immediately.
Pedestrians and cyclists should make sure that they can be clearly seen by using high visibility reflective material such as an arm-band, or high-vis jacket – particularly if they are travelling on country roads late at night or in poor light.
The RSA would like to take this opportunity to wish all road users a Merry Christmas and, above all, safe, New Year.