The Road Safety Authority (RSA) is urging people nationwide to get involved in the sixth annual ‘Irish Road Safety Week’, the national drive to save lives and prevent injury on Irish roads. This call comes as deaths on Irish roads have increased for the first time since 2005. This year, ‘Irish Road Safety Week’ will run from Monday 7 October to Sunday 13 October.
To date this year (26 September 2013), 141 people have been killed on Irish roads, an increase of 18 when compared to the same period last year. The greatest increase in road deaths has been among motorcyclists, with ten more fatalities to date in 2013 (23) among this group when compared to the same period in 2012 (13).
Mr Michael Rowland, Director of Road Safety Research and Education, RSA said:
“This year, for the first time in eight years, we have seen an increase in deaths on our roads. It’s a worrying time but if we have learned anything over the last few years, it’s that we all have the power to make a big difference. And now, more than ever, we need to redouble our efforts to keep our roads free from tragedy.”
“During Irish Road Safety Week, let’s all take this opportunity to review our behaviour on the roads and consider what we can do to make our roads safer. There are lots of road safety activities taking place throughout the country during Irish Road Safety Week, so get involved, and play your part in saving lives on our roads.”
The RSA’s Annual Academic Road Safety Lecture kicks off ‘Irish Road Safety Week’ on Monday 7 October in the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland (RCPI), No.6 Kildare Street. The theme of this year’s lecture is ‘Supporting Learner Drivers’ and will feature presentations from driver training experts.
Other activities taking place around the country during ‘Irish Road Safety Week’ include:
•The Irish Tyre Industry Association is offering free tyre safety checks as part of ‘Irish Road Safety Week’. Keeping your tyres in roadworthy condition is especially important as winter approaches. The checks will be available nationally at participating tyre centres, along with free safety packs while stocks last. Details are available on www.itia.ie and in the ‘Tyre Section’ of www.rsa.ie.
•A series of ‘Driving for Work’ seminars, run by the Road Safety Authority, the Health and Safety Authority and An Garda Síochána, will be held in October with the first taking place during Irish Road Safety Week on Wednesday 9 October in the Connacht Hotel in Galway. These free half day seminars are designed to help business owners, managers and supervisors understand how effective management of work-related road risks can keep employees safe on the roads and benefit the bottom line. More details are available on www.drivingforwork.ie.
•‘Beep Beep Day!’, a road safety awareness day for children, with 20,254 children taking part in 1,473 pre-schools around the country on Friday 11 October. The RSA has sent road safety packs to all pre-schools taking part in ‘Beep Beep Day!’ Children aged 5 and under will practise basic road safety messages with the ‘Simon and Friends’ road safety storybooks, songs, games and activities. Each child will also receive a high vis vest in their pack. 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.
•The RSA will also be running a series of free giveaways on their Facebook and Twitter pages, including free bicycle lights and learning to drive manuals, throughout Irish Road Safety Week. For further information, visit www.facebook.com/RSAIreland and www.twitter.com/RSAIreland
•As Winter approaches, the RSA will be broadcasting their ‘Is your car ready for winter?’ radio ads on local radio stations throughout ‘Irish Road Safety Week’.
•The RSA’s interactive road safety Shuttle and roll over simulator will be visiting NUI Galway on Wednesday 9th as part of the University’s Road Safety Week and will feature in Raheny Business Park, Limerick at a locally organised Road Safety Day involving Traffic Corps and Spec Savers.
•Streetsmart, a giant interactive road safety floor map for children, will be visiting schools and students in Kilmacrenan, Donegal on Oct 7th and 8th and Stranorlar, Donegal on Oct 9th and 10th.
•In support of Irish Road Safety Week, the Union of Students of Ireland (USI) will be running a competition on their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/USI.ie to give away driving lessons, learning to drive material and hi vis goods.
•There is also a series of initiatives being planned by local road safety officers in Local Authorities around the country.
•On Wednesday 9 October, the call for entries to the RSA’s annual road safety awards, ‘Leading Lights in Road Safety’, will open. 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 11 December. Details of how to enter are available on www.rsa.ie