Clare’s Road Safety Officer has joined An Garda Síochána and counterpart officials from neighbouring local authorities in Roscommon, Galway and Mayo in making an appeal to road users following a sharp rise in road deaths and serious injuries in the region.
22 people lost their lives on the Western Region’s roads during the first six months of 2012, representing an increase of 7 deaths when compared to the same period in 2011.
Recent research published by the Road Safety Authority shows that almost half (46%) of road deaths occur at the weekends. Sunday is statistically the day of the week that most collisions occur. The hour between 9pm and 10pm has shown to be the most dangerous period of the day, with 13% of road deaths occurring in that time.
Barry Keating, Road Safety Officer with Clare County Council said that all road users, motorists, pedestrians and cyclists are being warned they are entering the worst time of the year for road deaths and injuries on our roads.
“There are more people killed every July on Irish roads, compared to other months every year. Some reasons for this is because more tourists are on our roads, also more sporting and other out-door events take place and the long bright evenings means more people are walking and cycling late in the day,” he explained.
According to Mr. Keating: “Driving patterns are different in Summer. The good weather and the holiday season will bring a lot of people onto unfamiliar roads and sees them making longer journeys. But the road safety data is terrifying. It is very important that you remember to drive carefully. The big killers are speeding, drink driving and not wearing a seatbelt, but long cross-country journeys also bring the danger of fatigue.”
“I would especially appeal to Motorcyclists to take care on the roads, regrettably in the last year a significant number of the fatalities have been motorcyclists, so please be extra vigilant about your safety and the safety of others,” Mr. Keating concluded.
Meanwhile, Martin Cashen, Regional Traffic Superintendent Western Region stated: “Motorists have been advised to drive with extra care at a time of the year that see more people taking to the road. For safety reasons, motorists are also advised to turn on dipped headlights to improve visibility while driving. Pedestrians are advised to take heed of traffic while crossing the roads, particularly at busy junctions or when their view is obstructed.”
“Unfortunately 23 people have been killed on the Region’s roads so far this year which represents the highest increase since 2008. 16 of this year’s deaths occurred on weekends and worryingly, there is an increase in the number of people arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated in recent months. People are encountering enough hardship at this current time without having to deal with the death or serious injury to a loved one so please ‘Slow Down’ and never Drink and Drive,” Superintendent Cashen concluded.
Note to Editor:
- Barry Keating, Road Safety Officer is available for interview/further comment. To arrange please contact Mark Dunphy of Dunphy PR on 086-8534900 or firstname.lastname@example.org