July is the most lethal month of the year to use Ireland’s roads, according to the Road Safety Authority.
In the 10 year period 1999 to 2008 some 376 lives have been lost in July - an average of 38 people which makes it the killer month of the year.
RSA chief executive officer Noel Brett says the seasonal increase in fatalities during the month of July is a clear warning that motorists cannot afford to be complacent.
“I would appeal to all road users to take personal responsibility for their actions and to make this July the safest one yet.”
Throughout July there are added dangers as school children are on holidays, and with the finer weather and longer hours of daylight, more people are walking and cycling on the roads. In addition, more people are travelling to and from sporting, cultural, and social events and there are increasing numbers of Irish and foreign visitors touring the country.
“Whether you are a motorist, motorcyclist, cyclist, or pedestrian, you are about to enter the most dangerous time to use Irish roads. I would urge drivers to slow down, never ever drink or take drugs and drive, and ensure seat belts are worn by all. Pedestrians and cyclists, particularly during the long summer evenings, should be aware of their vulnerability and wear high visibility clothing in addition to protective gear.”
“I make a particular appeal to motorcyclists who are at greater risk over the summer months. The advent of warm weather brings more motorcyclists out on to the road and it is imperative that correct helmets, protective clothing, boots, and gloves are worn and that motorcyclists drive in a mature and responsible way with due regard for their own safety and those with whom they share the road.”
A Hi Vis vest can be a lifesaver for motorcyclists and the RSA has teamed up with Bike Buyers guide to distribute 40,000 hi vis vests free to motorcyclists this July.
According to figures, a total of 127 people lost their lives on Ireland’s roads in the first six months of 2009.
In total 63 drivers and 21 passengers have died, representing the majority or 66 per cent of road fatalities. Twenty pedestrians have lost their lives, accounting for 16 per cent of fatalities, while 19 motorcyclists (15 per cent ) and four cyclists (three per cent ) have also been killed.
Eighty per cent (101 ) of all fatalities were male, and drivers in general aged between 17 and 25 accounted for nearly a third of all driver fatalities, highlighting the fact that males and this age group remain a particularly vulnerable road user category.
More than half (53per cent ) of all fatal crashes on our roads took place over the weekend. During this high risk period two thirds of fatalities occurred between the hours of 8pm and 8am. Saturday night into the early hours of Sunday morning was the worst time of the week for road fatalities.
The RSA will have a presence at some of the biggest music and cultural festivals, such as Oxygen, the Rose of Tralee, and the Ploughing Championships. The ‘Check it Fits’ child car seat road-show will be visiting towns and cities around the country in the autumn. School-based educational programmes at primary, secondary ,and third level will commence in September.