7% of road deaths this year were aged 16-20
Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport Leo Varadkar has appealed to leaving and junior cert students to be road safety conscious at all times when celebrating the end of their exams this weekend.
With 7% of all road death victims this year aged between 16 and 20, Minister Varadkar joined with Road Safety Authority CEO Noel Brett to appeal to young people to prioritise road safety during their celebrations.
Minister Varadkar said: ‘The end of the leaving and junior cert exams should be a time of celebration, not condolences. Thousands of students around Ireland are looking forward to the end of the exams. I would urge parents to talk to them about their plans in advance, including who they will be travelling with and how they intend getting to their destination’.
Minister Varadkar and Noel Brett asked young motorists to consider the following ahead of their celebrations:
Consider using public transport to get to and from your destination safely; Learner drivers must be accompanied by a full licence holder, who has held that licence for more than two years; Never drink or drug drive, don’t use a mobile phone while driving, don’t drive too fast for the conditions and always wear your seatbelt. Young drivers should remember they are among the most vulnerable of our road-users.
Noel Brett added: “To parents I would echo the Minister’s comment about making sure your son or daughter stays safe on the roads tonight. This isn’t about being over-protective, so I would urge you to make an extra personal effort and see if they need to be collected following the celebrations. To students I would say be careful who you get into a car with – never get into a car with someone who drives recklessly or who has consumed alcohol or taken drugs. Make sensible choices about how you decide to travel and who you travel with, and don’t put your life or the lives of others at risk.”
The RSA has the following advice for parents and their young adults:
For parents, ask your son or daughter to avoid driving late at night as this is a high risk period for crashes, particularly among young people;
• For any young adults choosing to drive at night, remember that any amount of alcohol or drugs impairs your driving which could lead to a serious collision;
• Don’t carry more people in your car than is safe. Consider limiting it to two or three passengers and ask them to avoid distracting you while you are driving;
• Always obey the speed limits and never drive faster than your experience or the roads allow;
• Don’t get into a car if you don’t trust the driver or feel your safety is being compromised and don’t be afraid to speak out.
• While it is reassuring for young adults to carry a mobile phone, never talk on your phone or text while driving. Research says that you are four times more likely to crash if you use a hand-held mobile phone while driving and 23 times more likely to crash if you text while driving;
• Remember, everyone in the car should wear their seatbelt, both in the front and rear of the car.