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Ireland's roads will be at their 'busiest in years' over the next few days

Here’s where it’ll be heaviest.

23/05/2014. Dublin Traffic. Pictured traffic backs Source: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

AA ROADWATCH IS advising motorists to expect heavy traffic on Ireland’s roads over the next few days.

And with garages likely to close over the next few days, it is also calling for drivers to perform basic maintenance checks such as topping up on oil, checking headlights, ensuring they have a spare tyre, as well as filling up the tank before Christmas Day.

A busy festive season is predicted, with some of the heaviest traffic seen in years ‘unlikely to relent’.

Elaine O’Sullivan, editor of AA Roadwatch, said: “Christmas Day falls on a Friday this year which will help stagger the getaway traffic, but it’s still going to be very busy at peak times on the major routes

We’d advise motorists where possible to travel when it’s quieter and to make sure to plan your journey well in advance. With heavy traffic, you often see irresponsible driving as frustrated motorists try to rush through congestion. Unfortunately, this often leads to traffic collisions.

AA Roadwatch is predicting heavy traffic on the following routes, 20-24 December:

  • M50 southbound from J7 Lucan to J17 M11
  • M7 Dublin/ Limerick Rd especially between J6 Castlewarden and J10 Naas South
  • M8 Dublin/ Cork Rd approaching Cork City @ J17 Watergrasshill
  • N40 South Ring Rd in Cork City; particularly between J6 Kinsale Rd and the Dunkettle Interchange
  • N11 Dublin/ Wexford Rd from J5 Bray North to J8 Kilmacanogue
  • N4/ M4 Dublin/ Sligo Rd from Chapelizod Bypass to J7 Maynooth and also further west through Carrick on Shannon
  • N21 Limerick/ Tralee Rd past Patrickswell to Adare and then again from Newcastle West and Abbeyfeale
  • N18 Limerick/ Galway Rd through Gort and again further north from Clarinbridge to Oranmore
  • N17 Tuam Rd from Loughgeorge to Claregalway
  • N20 Cork/ Limerick Rd between Mallow and Buttevant

Motorists are also being reminded to be cautious of getting back behind the wheel the morning after drinking at Christmas.

Noel Gibbons, road safety officer with Mayo County Council, said:

It takes a lot longer than most people think for alcohol to pass through the body and because of this there is a real risk that people who would not dream of driving after drinking may still be unwittingly over the drink drive limit the morning after.

On average it takes about one hour per unit of alcohol to leave the body – a large glass of wine or a pint of strong beer is about three units.

The warnings come ahead of National Be Safe Be Seen Day.

This takes place on Tuesday, which although is the day after the winter solstice it is the shortest and darkest day of the year.

Minister for Transport Pascal Donohoe, the Road Safety Authority, and ESB Networks are reminding pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists to wear high-visibility clothing.

Moyagh Murdock, chief executive of Road Safety Authority said:

In recent years, we have seen a significant increase in the number of people walking and cycling to school, work or for leisure purposes, and it is encouraging to see so many of these road-users wearing high visibility material when out on the roads.

National High Visibility Day 2015 launch 5 Moyagh Murdock, chief executive of the Road Safety Authority (top left) with Jerry O’Sullivan, ESB Networks and Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Paschal Donohoe, along with Erin Ocks (6) Kyle Moloney (6) and Meaghan Dunne (5) Source: ROBBIE REYNOLDS PHOTOGRAPHY

“However, to date this year, pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists have accounted for one-in-four road fatalities, which highlight just how vulnerable these road-users are.”

Similarly, while there has been a significant reduction in the number of children killed and seriously injured on our roads this year, any tragedy, particularly involving a young person, is one too many. Children are the most vulnerable of our road-users so it is really important that we as parents and educators teach our children how to be safe when using the road.

The RSA and ESB have handed over 85,000 high-vis vests to schoolchildren across the country so far this year.

Read: This will be the best Christmas in almost a decade for Irish retailers >

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Nicky Ryan

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