Revving up for Safety: RSA’s Festive Road Campaign Takes the Wheel!

"RSA and An Garda Síochána Join Forces to Launch Christmas Road Safety Campaign"

New Christmas Road Safety Campaign Launched in Ireland

A new Christmas road safety campaign has been launched today by the Road Safety Authority (RSA) in collaboration with An Garda Síochána, the Department of Transport, and the Department of Justice. The campaign aims to address the traditionally dangerous period between Christmas and New Year by encouraging road users to reduce their speed and exercise extra caution on the roads during the festive season.

As of November 29, 2023, there have been 172 fatalities on Irish roads, which is 31 more than the same period in 2022. This alarming increase in road deaths underscores the urgency of promoting safe driving habits and responsible road behavior.

The campaign focuses on discouraging driving under the influence of alcohol and illegal drugs. Additionally, it targets other road traffic offenses such as mobile phone use, speeding, and failure to wear seatbelts. The Assistant Commissioner of Roads Policing and Community Engagement of An Garda Síochána, Paula Hilman, emphasized the importance of responsible driving, stating, “Never get behind the wheel having consumed alcohol or drugs, drive at an appropriate speed considering road and weather conditions, avoid distractions, stay focused, and always wear your seatbelt. We do not want to deliver devastating news to your family this Christmas or New Year.”

In conjunction with the launch of the Christmas road safety campaign, another initiative has been introduced to raise awareness about the benefits of implementing 30km/h speed limits in urban areas. This separate campaign aims to illustrate the safe interaction between different road users and highlights how lower speed limits can contribute to safer, greener, and more livable towns and communities.

According to the RSA, data consistently shows that higher speeds significantly increase both the frequency and severity of road accidents. For instance, if a pedestrian is hit by a vehicle traveling at 60km/h, nine out of ten pedestrians will be killed. However, if the vehicle is traveling at 50km/h, five out of ten pedestrians will be killed, and at 30km/h, nine out of ten pedestrians will survive. These statistics emphasize the importance of reducing speed limits to protect vulnerable road users.

Research conducted by the insight agency, Behaviours & Attitudes, reveals that more than two-thirds (68%) of adults in Ireland support the introduction of 30km/h speed limits on at least one of the listed road types. This public support indicates a growing recognition of the importance of reducing speed to improve road safety.

Sam Waide, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the RSA, emphasized the significance of slower speeds in saving lives. He stated, “The Christmas period should be a time of joy and celebration, not tragedy. By complying with these limits, every road user contributes to a safer and more responsible road environment.”

The launch of this Christmas road safety campaign and the promotion of 30km/h speed limits in urban areas are crucial steps towards improving road safety in Ireland. It is essential for all road users to heed the campaign’s message, exercise caution, and prioritize responsible driving during the festive season and beyond. Let us all work together to make our roads safer and protect the lives of our loved ones.

Matt Lyons

Matt Lyons

Matt Lyons is the founder of Forestry & Carbon. Matt has over 25 years as a forestry consultant and is invoilved in numerous carbon credit offset projects.

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