An Garda have issued a road safety warning to those partaking in today’s Saint Patricks Day celebrations.
The warning was issued after recently collected data showed that 15 people have been killed and 30 more seriously injured over recent St. Patricks Day periods from 2010 to 2014.
Other new 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 Patricks Day and the day after, compared to any other day in the month of March.An Garda Síochána have teamed up with the Road Safety Authority (RSA) to appeal to all road users, and in particular drivers and pedestrians, to make safet a prioirty this Bank Holiday.
A spokesperson said: “Although it is a day of national celebration, responsibility and restraint are key to keeping safe on the roads.
“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.
“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.”
Chief Superintendent Mark Curran, Garda National traffic Bureau said: “Obviously we want everyone to enjoy the festivities that will take place around the country, but please remember that if you are celebrating and consuming alcohol, leave the car behind.
“This not only applies to the day itself, but also the morning after. Alcohol takes time to be removed completely from your system, so if you do it right on your night out, you must ensure you are alcohol free the morning after too.
“It is simply unacceptable to see that the number of drivers arrested on suspicion of drink or drug driving doubles over what should be a joyous couple of days. It also serves as a reminder that members of An Garda Síochána are and will be out to specifically target such dangerous driving offences.”
Moyagh Murdock, CEO of the RSA also had a message for pedestrians, in particular those socialising over the St.Patrick’s Day period: “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.”