Over the weekend and into St Patrick’s Day, An Garda Síochána and the Road Safety Authority have cautioned all road users, but in particular drivers and pedestrians, to act responsibly and show restraint.
“With many schools closed, many families will take the opportunity to travel to different parts of the country over the next few days. It is every road users responsility to ensure that the roads are safe for all,” Chief Superintendent Mark Curran, Garda National Traffic Bureau said.
To date, 29 people have tragically lost their lives on Irish roads, five road deaths less than this date last year. 196 people lost their lives on Irish roads in 2014.
Newly released figures show that over the past five years, on average, twice as many drivers have been arrested on suspicion of drink or drug driving on both St Patrick’s Day and the day after, compared to any other day in the month of March. In addition, 15 people lost their lives and a further 30 people were seriously injured in road collisions between March 16-18.
Moyagh Murdock, CEO of the RSA, noted, “Two thirds of pedestrians killed on our roads have consumed alcohol. This is a staggering statistic, and it is not new. When you’re walking under the influence of alcohol you’re unsteady on your feet making you less capable of crossing the road safely and quickly and more likely to fall over or end up on the ground totally out of view of oncoming traffic. You’re also more likey to step out unexpectedly into the path of oncoming vehicles because your judgment of distance and speed is seriously compromised.
“So, if you are going out, plan getting back. This means organising collection afterwards, a lift, or sharing a taxi or hackney to get home safely.”