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Dublin: 4 °C Monday 24 February, 2020
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75 killed on Irish roads this year, don't be number 76 this weekend

“The speed limit is not a target that must be achieved,” the Garda Assistant Commissioner has warned.

File images of fatal car crash.
File images of fatal car crash.
Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

SIX PEOPLE WERE killed over the June bank holiday weekend last year, and 12 were seriously injured.

To helps save lives and reduce the number of injuries this year, ’Operation Slow Down’ has been launched.

Gardaí have rolled out the campaign to remind drivers of the dangers of inappropriate and excessive speed that is one of the main factors in road-related deaths.

Although for the past seven years, there has been a year-on-year decrease in the number of road deaths in Ireland, there are 11 more road deaths so far this year when compared with the same time last year.

To date, 75 people have lost their lives on Irish roads in 2013 and 78 per cent of these deaths have been a driver, passenger or motorcyclist. While more than one third of deaths have happened on Thursdays and Fridays.

“Speed limit signs are the maximum that you may travel at on that road, but only when conditions are perfect,” warned Garda Assistant Commissioner, Gerard Phillips. “When you are faced with adverse weather, road or traffic conditions, the most effective way to keep safe is to slow down”.

“The speed limit is not a target that must be achieved,” Phillips added.

Noel Brett of the Road Safety Authority warned that even a slight increase in speed can be fatal.

If a pedestrian is hit at 50km/h the chance of survival is fifty-fifty, the toss of a coin. If the same pedestrian is hit at 60km/h nine out of ten will die.

“Last year’s June bank holiday weekend saw six lives lost and a further 12 people seriously injured,” said the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Leo Varadkar. “There is always a risk associated with driving at the weekend, but bank holiday weekends are riskier still.”

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Amy Croffey

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