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Garda and Council Joint Road Safety Appeal

‌Kildare Gardaí and Kildare County Council are making a joint appeal this weekend for motorcyclists and drivers to become aware of their vulnerability while on the roads.  In addition to focusing on motorcyclists, gardaí will also be targeting speeding motorists, non-wearing of seatbelts and other traffic offences, including drink driving.

Motorcyclists are being urged to ‘Bike Safe’ this bank holiday weekend which is a high-risk period for bike riders.  Motorists are also been urged to watch out for motorcyclists by looking twice and for longer, to make sure there are no motorcyclists in their blind spots.

An examination by the RSA of forensic fatal collision investigation files published in 2016 found that almost a third of motorcyclists involved in fatal collisions between 2008 and 2012 had consumed alcohol and speeding was also a factor in almost half of all motorcycle deaths.

Sergeant Brian O’Loughlin of the Naas Roads Policing Unit says motorcyclists have been killed on the roads so far this year.  “In 2017, 14 out of 20 motorcyclists were killed, they died in the second half of the year, five motorcyclists were killed in the last week in July alone.  So far this year, seven motorcyclists have been killed on the roads.”

Speeding is one of the bigger factors of bad driving behaviour, and when a motorist drives at excessive or dangerous speeds, they put many lives at risk, not just their own.  The Roads Policing Bureau will be carrying out speed detections on roads across Kildare over the long weekend.  Sergeant O’Loughlin says, ‘speed limits are just that, limits, not targets’.  “Our members will be out in force over the weekend detecting speeding motorists.  When a driver speeds, they increase their chance of a collision, and reduce their chance of survival in a collision.  Drivers should drive at the designated speed limit, and it’s just that, it’s a speed limit, not a target.’

Drink or drug driving, driving while using a mobile phone or a person travelling in a vehicle while not wearing a seatbelt are also some of the main killer factors experienced on the roads.  Kildare County Council is supporting the national road safety campaign and its Road Safety, Cycling and Sustainable Transport Officer says people should be aware of the killer factors on the roads.  Declan Keogh said “Additional heavy volumes of traffic on the roads bring additional risks and dangers to road users, and this is always the case on bank holiday weekends.  We are appealing for drivers to drive at appropriate speeds, be sober of any alcohol or drugs, and to share the road, be a more courteous and considerate driver.  When you are a ‘nice’ driver, your journey is a much more pleasant one”.

Motorists planning on travelling long road distances over the weekend are asked to plan their journey and leave the car at home if out socialising.

Kildare’s Road Safety, Cycling and Sustainable Transport Officer Declan Keogh said “Preparing for the long road ahead can involve simple checks such as checking fuel capacity, tyres, lights, water in the windscreen dispenser, knowing how far your destination is and adding in regular breaks along the way.  Be mindful of other possible interruptions along the way such as road works or town build-ups and by taking all this into account, it should provide for a safer enjoyable journey”.

Sergeant Brian O’Loughlin added “If you’re heading out this weekend, plan your journey.  Plan your way out and plan your way home.  Leave the car at home and if you live a distance from a pub, call upon a friend as a designated driver, you will have a much more enjoyable night and you will get home safely. There will be checkpoints performed the following morning to detect drink driving, so if you are out the night before, remember that the next morning, you could be stopped, and you could also be arrested for drink driving.”

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