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Road back New safety campaign urges road users to get their mind in gear as country opens up

Although there have been fewer deaths on the roads this year compared to the same period in 2020, authorities say now is the time to be particularly careful

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The gardaí and the Road Safety Authority (RSA) are appealing to everyone to “get their mind in gear” and put safety first as part of the ‘Road Back’ initiative

The gardaí and the Road Safety Authority (RSA) are appealing to everyone to “get their mind in gear” and put safety first as part of the ‘Road Back’ initiative

The gardaí and the Road Safety Authority (RSA) are appealing to everyone to “get their mind in gear” and put safety first as part of the ‘Road Back’ initiative

A new safety campaign is being launched this week to urge all road users to be extra cautious as the roads get busier with the easing of travel restrictions. 

The gardaí and the Road Safety Authority (RSA) are appealing to everyone to “get their mind in gear” and put safety first as part of the ‘Road Back’ initiative.

Although there have been fewer deaths on the roads this year compared to the same period in 2020, the authorities say now is the time to be particularly careful.

A total of 27 drivers have been killed so far this year, an increase of six on 2020, while 10 motorcyclists have died compared to four in 2020. Two cyclists have also become fatalities compared to one last year.

While the figures for pedestrians (four this year compared 17) and passengers (two compared to ten) are lower, there are increased risks for everyone using the roads with more cars and the numbers of pedestrians and cyclists having increased significantly.

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Chief Superintendent Ray McMahon

Chief Superintendent Ray McMahon

Chief Superintendent Ray McMahon

"We appreciate that the vast majority of road users act responsibly when driving but even a slight lapse in concentration can have very serious results,” Chief Superintendent Ray McMahon of National Roads Policing said.

“You never know when a pedestrian might step off the pavement or a cyclist might need to avoid an obstacle. It’s about expecting the unexpected and reading the road ahead.

“We are reminding drivers to remember the simple things – keep within speed limits, make sure to put on your seatbelt before setting off. Put your phones away and stay focused on the road ahead remaining vigilant of vulnerable road users.”

Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Hildegarde Naughton said that while kt is positive news to see the relaxation of travel restrictions, we all need to continue to put safety first.

“Road safety is also a major public health issue, and we are asking for the same commitment from all road users to saving lives on our roads,” the minister said.

“Whether you are a motorist, pedestrian or a cyclist, please keep your focus on the road, stay alert for other road users and help us all to get back on the road safely.”

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Sam Waide, CEO of the Road Safety Authority, added: "I know so many people are looking forward to being able to travel further distances, see family and friends, visit places they haven’t been for some time. We want to make sure that each of these trips ends safely.

“There is now a changed environment on our roads, with more people out walking and cycling. It is more important than ever that we share the roads and be mindful of vulnerable road users and one another.”

He added: “Drivers, please be alert to other road users, watch out for motorcyclists, cyclists, and pedestrians. Slow down when passing pedestrians and cyclists. We know that it might be the first time back on the roads for a lot of people, so we encourage you to put safety first by checking your tyres, oil and lights. Get your mind in gear for driving again so that the road back is a safer place for everyone.”

The gardai and the RSA are also reminding car owners to make sure their vehicle, which may not have been driven for some time, is roadworthy by undertaking some basic maintenance checks before setting off.


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