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Gardaí to commence Operation Open City today as Christmas road safety strategy is launched

A new ad campaign will also promote the dangers of drink driving through a virtual reality experience.

Image: Rollingnews.ie

GARDAÍ HAVE APPEALED for all road users to act responsibly and safely over the next few weeks as they launched their Christmas and New Year road strategy.

Today marks the beginning of Operation Open City, when drivers were warned of the dangers of driving the morning after a night of drinking when their driving could still be impaired by alcohol.

Analysis of garda investigation files by the Road Safety Authority found that 11% of fatal collisions in which a driver had consumed alcohol happened between 7am and 11am.

Further statistics also indicate that 6% of all arrests for driving under the influence so far this year have taken place between 7am and 11am.

To combat this, an increased number of breathalysing checkpoints will be set up around the country over the next six weeks to deter people from driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Significant factor

Speaking at the launch, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Shane Ross said the focus of this year’s appeal was to highlight the danger of driving the morning after drinking.

“We know that alcohol remains a significant contributory factor in fatal crashes and is responsible for far too many deaths and injuries on Irish roads,” he said.

“So if you have done the right thing the night before, don’t forget to do the right thing and make alternative arrangements to travel the morning after.”

Chairperson, Road Safety Authority Liz O Donnell also called drink driving a form of behaviour that must no longer be tolerated in society.

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“Drink driving at any time of the day or day of the week is drink driving, which is why you must take extra care the following morning if you have been drinking the night before,” she said.

“If you have been on a drinking session the night before and got to bed very late you could still have alcohol in your system.”

The authority has also launched a new ad campaign which promotes its new virtual reality experience, which places someone in the shoes of a driver.

O’Donnell added that the VR experience would show road users the severe consequences of getting behind the wheel after consuming alcohol using emerging technology.

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