Kildare Christmas Road Safety campaign
‘Personal responsibility goes hand-in-hand with social responsibility’
Social responsibility, designated drivers and pedestrian safety are the main focus of this year's Christmas road safety campaign between Kildare County Council and Kildare Gardai.
The campaign as officially launched on Thursday 8th December at Aras Chill Dara, Naas by the Mayor of Kildare, Ivan Keatley, who said “Christmas time is a very busy time on the roads and with the higher number of fatalities this year so far, every effort needs to continue in trying to reduce road traffic collisions which result in deaths and serious injuries on the roads”.
Garda Inspector Oliver Henry spoke at the launch and said there will be 1,800 enforcement actions over the Christmas and New Year period which will see checkpoints, MAT (Mandatory Alcohol Test) checkpoints and speed detections each day in addition to targeted patrols across the county. “People need to take responsibility while out socialising; they need to know how they are getting home. Our warning to all drivers is that any driver who is drinking alcohol over the festive season and takes a chance by driving that long or short distance home while under the influence, there is a very real and high chance that you will be stopped, breathalysed and arrested for drunk driving. The only way to avoid that is to be sober while driving, it’s that simple”.
Hotels, businesses, bars and nightclubs are supporting the Designated Drivers initiative this Christmas while publicans in rural areas are once again helping to ensure the safety of their pedestrian customers by issuing them with high visibility vests. Kildare County Council’s Road Safety Officer Declan Keogh says any help in promoting safer use of the roads is very welcome. “Pedestrian safety is a high priority at this time of year, and aside from the fact that every person should be responsible for their own personal safety, we are delighted that businesses and publicans are supporting our campaign and helping us along the way and this must be recognised”.
Speaking at the launch on Thursday, Declan Keogh said “Personal responsibility goes hand in hand with social responsibility and we are asking that every driver and pedestrian be mindful of their intentions, their actions and just think of the outcome of a situation before it happens, in other words, think before you get into the car after drinking alcohol, think before you head out for a walk without being visible, ask yourself what ‘could’ happen, and you soon come to realise the possibilities, but the only way to avoid these situations is by doing the safe, responsible approach and doing the right thing”.
The National Ambulance Service and Kildare Fire Service often join gardai at the scene of a collision. They are known as the ‘first responders’ to a collision and emergency service personnel know only too well the impact of a collision, which has resulted in the impact of a wrong decision. Following the launch, Kildare Manager of the National Ambulance Service Mark Tyrell noted that many collisions can be avoided and are often unnecessary. “We see the face of foolish behaviour on the roads every day. We see the carnage and the devastation that follows, and the sad part about all of this is that, and all too often, many of these collisions could have been avoided and should have been avoided”.
The Road Safety Officer has presented Garda Inspector Henry with high visibility vests for distribution among the many pedestrians and cyclists that gardai encounter while on patrol in the Kildare division. Students from Gaelscoil Nas na Riogh were also provided with high visibility vests, road safety bags and vital information on how to become and remain as a safe, responsible road user.
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