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RSA National "Slow Down" Day

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) and An Garda Síochána have launched their National "Slow Down" Day. As the June Bank Holiday Approaches the RSA and the Gardaí have called on drivers to reduce their speed. The June Bank Holiday weekend is the worst weekend for Road Traffic Accidents. Applegreen service stations are providing free coffee for drivers.

Commenting ahead of the June Bank Holiday Weekend the Minister for Transport Tourism and Sport, Mr. Leo Varadkar T.D., urged road users to support national "Slow Down” day:-

"Five people lost their lives over the June Bank Holiday weekend last year. We should all work together to ensure we do not have a repeat of such carnage this year. The only way to avoid a repeat this year is if we all work together. Speed is still one of the biggest risk factors. By slowing down we reduce the likelihood of a crash, and the severity of injuries. We are also asking drivers this weekend to watch out for dangerous road conditions because the weather is so changeable. We want everyone to enjoy the weekend, but please do so safely.”

Speaking at the launch of the joint campaign, Ms. Moyagh Murdock, Chief Executive, Road Safety Authority said:-

"We really want the public to take extra care when using the roads this weekend. The June Bank Holiday has been particularly bad over the last two years. But we are also heading into this weekend on the back of a really bad May Bank Holiday when we lost 5 lives on the roads. Of great concern too is the fact that, nationally, we seem to be heading in the same direction as last year. 71 lives have been lost compared to 73 up to the same date last year, and last year was our worst in seven years.”

"It really is so important to realise that staying safe on the roads is a continuous effort. We simply cannot afford to let our guard down. The roads are going to be very busy this weekend, there are local festivals, sporting events and people travelling the length and breadth of the country for a break. The roads will be busy with people out walking and cycling. There are more tourists using the roads and they there will be a big increase in the number of agricultural vehicles out and about as farmers begin the first cut of silage this weekend. So I would appeal to everyone to do what you can to stay safe this weekend. In particular I would appeal to drivers to slow down, and support national ‘Slow Down” day by reducing your speed. Small margins can make a big difference. If a pedestrian or cyclist is hit at 60km/h they stand little chance of survival. If hit at 50km/h they have a 50/50 chance of living.”

Assistant Commissioner John Twomey, Garda National Traffic Bureau, speaking at the launch in Garda HQ today said:-

"Excessive or inappropriate speed remains a significant contributory factor in road traffic collisions. Unfortunately, many drivers believe they are immune to the laws of physics as over 80,000 fixed charged notices have already been issued for speeding so far this year, an increase of over 20% compared to 2013 figures. Of greater concern, 9 out of 10 detections were made in situations where the driver was travelling 10km/h or more above the posted speed limit. 1 in 10 of those drivers detected were for speeds in excess of 30 km/h above the limit. This is particularly worryingly for pedestrians and cyclists in 50km/h zones, which were the worst locations for speeding offences.”