Gardai appeal to all road users to take safety seriously in a bid to reduce the numbers of lives lost on our roads

Gardai appeal to all road users to take safety seriously in a bid to reduce the numbers of lives lost on our roads

Gardai appeal to all road users to take safety seriously in a bid to reduce the numbers of lives lost on our roads

An Garda Sochna is appealing to all road users to take safety seriously in 2011 in a bid to reduce the number of lives lost on our roads.

"We all have a responsibility to think about safety every time we use the roads. However, complacency is never an option when it comes to road safety and I want people to bear this in mind throughout 2011," said Assistant Commissioner for Traffic John Twomey.

During 2010, 212 people died in collisions, down 26 people compared to 2009, when 238 people lost their lives.

Assistant Commissioner Twomey said that while the downward trend in lives lost is good news, we must continue to focus on driver behaviour in 2011 in order to further reduce the number of families who may suffer loss of a loved one on our roads.

"The individual decisions of road users all over the country this year to change their behaviour have had a profound impact, resulting in reductions in death and serious injuries on our roads," he said.

"I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who heeded our advice during the recent adverse weather conditions.

"Your actions and undertakings helped keep the roads safer during the tough weather in late November and throughout December.

"Let's keep up the good work and make Irish roads safer for ourselves, our families and our friends in 2011."

During 2010, the new network of Garda mobile safety cameras was launched on roads all across Ireland.

Assistant Commissioner Twomey said: "I would like to remind all road users, in particular motorists, to familiarise themselves with the sections of the road network where the safety cameras are operating.

"The locations are available on www.Garda.ie. I also appeal to motorists to always drive at an appropriate speed, to reduce the likelihood of being involved in a fatal or serious collision."

He added: "It is gratifying to see that the majority of Irish road users are taking notice of road safety messages and changing their behaviour in meaningful ways, for example by wearing seatbelts at all times and paying attention to other road users, including pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.

"Motorists must exercise personal responsibility and drivers should slow down and remember that as a general rule a 1km/h decrease in average speed results in a 2% reduction in minor injury collisions, a 3% reduction in serious injury collisions and a 4% reduction in fatal collisions.

"This will further assist us to save lives and bring about a greater culture of compliance in 2011 and beyond."

Provisional statistics issued by An Garda Sochna for the Christmas and New Year period indicate increased compliance among road users.

However, regrettably for the community as a whole, there are still motorists who are not heeding the messages on road safety.

During An Garda Sochna's Christmas and New Year road safety campaign, which ran from November 22, 2010 to January 3, 2011, a total of 1,149 drink driving incidents were recorded, which compares to 1,501 for the same period in 2009 / 2010.

l Assistant Commissioner for Traffic John Twomey