As St Patrick’s Day approaches, the Road Safety Authority is renewing its message to “Never, ever, drink and drive.” In the past 10 years a total of 34 people have been killed and 146 seriously injured on Irish roads during the St Patrick’s holiday period.
Noel Brett, CEO, RSA said: “If you are thinking of getting into the car after a few drinks, stop and think. Do you want your family to be visiting your grave this time next year? Putting them through the grief and devastation of losing a father, mother, brother or child, just because you decided to take that chance? Think again.”
Weekends are a high risk time on the roads, bank holidays even more as there is a tendency to let the guard down. Combine this with the St Patrick’s Day holiday period and you have a lethal combination of large volumes of traffic, speed, and drink driving. Last year alone, there were 13 people killed and seriously injured during this time.
“We want you to enjoy the holidays, but just do so responsibly,” continued Mr Brett. “If you decide to drink, all we ask is that you plan ahead - leave the keys at home, designate a driver or use public transport.”
Other vulnerable road users are also being advised to take extra care. Pedestrians, motorcyclists and cyclists should wear something that will make them stand out to other road-users, particularly in poor weather conditions and low visibility. Wear reflective materials at all times and pedestrians should carry a torch at night.
Drivers should always expect the unexpected when it comes to vulnerable road users and pedestrians are advised to drink in moderation if walking home after a social event. Alcohol is considered to be a factor in a quarter of pedestrian deaths each year.