Road Safety Office urge drivers to 'drive away your bad habits during Lent'

Noel Gibbins, Road Safety Officer

Noel Gibbins, Road Safety Officer

Local authorities and An Garda Siochana are appealing for people observing Lent to give up one more thing - bad driving, stating

Mayo County Council, road safety officer Noel Gibbons said: "Regardless of religious inclination, three quarters of Irish people still use Lent as an opportunity to give up bad habits. The most common things to forego for the 40-day period, are food-related or social networks but road safety professionals say drivers should commit to a simple but effective Lenten promise: "Make better choices out on the road and become a nicer person behind the wheel, share the road with that cyclist or pedestrian."

Gibbons continued: "At this time of year, most of us make an extra effort to uphold a few worthwhile commitments for Lent. So why not include a road safety commitment and seek to make better, wiser choices about all aspects of your motoring in 2020? By doing so, you will immediately improve safety and reduce risk, for yourself, your passengers and for everyone else around you on your journeys.

"A recent survey showed that almost 40 per cent of Irish drivers admitted getting angry behind the wheel on a weekly basis. We would like to highlight that road rage is not just confined to motorists but is also quite often experienced by cyclists and pedestrians; please help to keep cyclists alive by simply giving them the same amount of respect and room as any other road user, and assist in creating a safe environment for all.

He continued: "And one in three drivers is expected to experience aggressive or intimidating driving while out in their car — 13% admitted getting out of the vehicle in order to confront another driver. Drivers are now being warned to become more aware of the actions that are most likely to lead to a road rage incident. These include slow driving, following too close to the car in front, unsafe lane changes, flashing of headlights, blowing of the car horn and obscene hand gestures."

Cathaoirleach of Mayo County Council, Cllr Brendan Mulroy, added: "It presents a great opportunity for road users to change their road behaviours and make these changes part of their lives. A potential life saver that could also reduce injuries on our roads. In order to avoid a confrontation motorists should not over-react. They should put their pride in the back seat. Don’t challenge the other driver by speeding up or attempting to hold your own with them."

Kevin Gately, Community Engagement Garda Superintendent, said: "Improving safety on our roads takes real collaboration across all agencies and I am delighted that we have come together to jointly support this campaign. It epitomises the spirit of cooperation that exists in our County on this important issue as we continue our work to ensure that nobody comes to harm as a result of working on or using our roads.”


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