The announcement this week by An Garda Síochána and the Road Safety Authority (RSA) urging drivers and riders to slow down this October Bank Holiday, has been greeted by the Freight Transport Association Ireland (FTAI), who has described it as a "timely intervention" ahead of the October Bank Holiday in Ireland.
In welcoming the initiative, FTAI has endorsed the National "Slow Down" Day, which will be operated by the Garda and the Road Safety Authority from 07.00 hrs Friday 25 October until Saturday 26 October 07.00 hrs.
Nearly 20% of fatalities occur on Fridays, and of these, 28% occur between 14.00hrs and 18.00hrs. Therefore this Friday’s intensive campaign is aimed at increasing driver awareness of the periods of highest road risk.
In addition, new figures have revealed that nearly 140,000 fixed charge notices have been issued for speeding from January to September this year. Despite for the past seven years, a year on year decrease in the number of road fatalities in Ireland, as of the 23rd October 2013, there have been 13 more fatalities on Irish roads than at this time last year, brining the number of people killed in road traffic collisions in Ireland to 153 to date.
Speaking at the FTAI’s "Driving for Work Risk Management Seminar" on 23rd October, Superintendent Con O’Donoghue of the Garda National Traffic Bureau explained the significant benefits that would follow even a 1% reduction in average road speed across the country.
The Garda stated that "excessive or inappropriate speed remains a significant contributory factor in road traffic collisions", adding that "while the majority of drivers and riders drive safely and within applicable speed limits, there are however many who do not". From 1st January -30th September this year, a total of 138,599 fixed charge notices were issued for speeding.
Neil McDonnell commented;
"Freight Transport Association Ireland believes that, even among professional drivers, concentration is most likely to drop in the lead-up to a bank holiday weekend, and any initiative to encourage speed awareness has to be a good thing".
The initiatives aim to raise general awareness of speeding and to encourage drivers to reduce speed at all times. A small reduction in speed will save lives. The Garda is notifying the public that Garda speed detection and enforcement activity will be intense, and asking drivers to respond by strictly keeping to the speed limits and reduce their speed in adverse road, weather or traffic conditions.
Mr Mc Donnell added:
"The Garda and RSA message to slow down is a timely intervention to raise driver awareness ahead of the October Bank Holiday".