RSA and Gardaí issue safety plea for the festive season

Alcohol is a contributory factor in 38 per cent of fatal crashes in the lead up to Christmas, a Road Safety Authority (RSA ) analysis of Garda data for fatal crashes in the months of November and December has found.

The figure was revealed on Thursday at the launch of the RSA and An Garda Síochána’s annual Christmas and New Year Road Safety Campaign.

The research also showed that Dublin, Cork and Galway had the highest number of fatalities in November and December and accounted for almost a third of the total number of fatalities that occurred during this time period.

Meanwhile, arrest figures released by the Gardaí for driving under the influence (DUI ) up to the end of October, 2017 shows that there have been 7,428 drivers arrested, compared to 6,637 up to October, 2016. This is a 12 per cent increase in DUI arrests in 2017.

To promote pedestrian and cyclist safety over the festive period, the RSA has teamed up with the Vintners Federation of Ireland (VFI ) to distribute 50,000 high-visibility jackets to almost 4,000 publicans for distribution free of charge to their patrons to ensure they get home safely over the Christmas and New Year period.

The RSA and An Garda Síochána are supporting Coca Cola’s 13th annual Designated Driver campaign which is encouraging the nation to give the ‘Gift of a Lift’ this Christmas. The campaign running across Ireland and Northern Ireland will once again offer free soft drinks, water or juice to designated drivers.

The RSA will be airing its anti-drink driving TV campaign - Ciarán - which features the Treacy family, who lost four year old Ciarán in a head-on collision with a drunk driver in April, 2014. A three minute online video and two new radio ads plus pub/club washroom advertising focusing on the danger of drink driving the morning after will also be deployed over the festive period.

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