The Road Safety Authority (RSA) is asking people around the country to get involved in the fifth annual ‘National Drive to Save Lives’ on Irish roads. This comes as they announced details of road safety events taking place nationwide during ‘Irish Road Safety Week’ which will run from Monday 8 October to Sunday 14 October.
To date this year (14 September 2012), 123 people have been killed on Irish roads, a reduction of five road deaths on the same period last year. Half of all road users killed (49.6%) were drivers and of these, over one third were aged between 16 and 25. 1 in 4 road users killed so far this year were aged 66 or older.
Speaking about ‘Irish Road Safety Week’ Minister Varadkar said: “We all play a role in keeping our roads safe. As we approach ‘Irish Road Safety Week’, I would like to thank everyone for helping to reduce deaths and injuries on the roads. This week gives everyone an opportunity to make the roads safer, save more lives, and make Ireland one of the safest countries in the world. I would encourage everyone to get involved in the road safety activities taking place in their county.”
Mr Noel Brett, Chief Executive of the Road Safety Authority said: “Although road deaths are marginally lower now than they were this time last year, over the past few months, we have seen some terrible tragedies on our roads. These tragedies remind us all of how precious life is and how quickly it can be taken away from us. ‘Irish Road Safety Week’ is an opportunity for us all to avail of the many road safety activities taking place around the country but also to think about our behaviour on the roads and how it affects others. By making real changes to the way we use the roads, we can all play a part in saving lives.”
‘Irish Road Safety Week’ begins on Monday 8 October with the RSA’s Annual Academic Road Safety Lecture in the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland (RCPI), No.6 Kildare Street. The theme of this year’s lecture is ‘Medical Fitness to Drive’ and will also see the launch of the new National Programme Office for Traffic Medicine which has been established by the RSA and RCPI. Among the other activities taking place around the country during ‘Irish Road Safety Week’ are:
As part of ‘Irish Road Safety Week’, there will be a renewed focus on tyre safety as part of an initiative being run by the Irish Tyre Industry Association to raise awareness of the need to maintain tyres, particularly coming into the winter months. Free tyre checks will be available nationally at participating tyre centres, along with a free safety pack (while stocks last). Further information is available atwww.itia.ie and in the ‘Tyre Section’ of www.rsa.ie
The call for entries to the annual ‘Leading Lights in Road Safety’ Awards will take place on Wednesday 10 October. The awards honour the contributions made by individuals and groups to promote road safety in schools, communities and workplaces. This year’s Awards will take place in Farmleigh on Wednesday 12 December. Details of how to enter will be available onwww.rsa.ie
A series of ‘Driving for Work’ seminars, run by the RSA, HSA and An Garda Síochána, will begin during Irish Road Safety Week with a seminar in the Harlequin Hotel in Castlebar on Thursday 11 October and Dorrian’s Imperial Hotel, Ballyshannon, Co Donegal. These free half day seminars are designed to help business owners, managers and supervisors understand how effective management of work-related road risks can benefit the bottom line.
‘Beep Beep Day!’, a road safety awareness day for children, will take place in almost 1,400 pre-schools around the country on Friday 12 October. Children aged 5 and under will practice basic road safety messages with the ‘Simon and Friends’ road safety storybooks, songs, games and activities. Information regarding child safety in cars is also being distributed to parents. This event is coordinated nationally by the RSA and organised locally by the County and City Childcare Committees.
In support of Irish Road Safety Week, iRadio will be running their ‘I is the Limit’ campaign throughout the week. The campaign rewards road-users who drive within the speed limit in an effort to promote the importance of safe speed.
The RSA and Setanta Insurance will also be launching this year’s ‘Keep Drama off the Roads’ which invites budding film-makers to submit a script in response to a road safety theme. This year, the theme is ‘Texting and Driving’ and the winning entry will receive €3,000 as well as the opportunity to work with a production team to see their concept come to life in video. Details of the competition are available onwww.keepdramaofftheroads.ie
The RSA will also be running a series of free giveaways on their Facebook and Twitter pages throughout Irish Road Safety Week. For further information, visitwww.facebook.com/RSAIreland and www.twitter.com/RSAIreland
There is also a series of initiatives being planned by local road safety officers in Local Authorities around the country.