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Gardaí and RSA kick off Christmas road safety drive

An Garda Síochána and Road Safety Authority have urged motorists not to drink and drive, or speed, over the holidays.

THE GARDAÍ and the Road Safety Authority have kicked off their Christmas and New Year road safety campaign, urging motorists to travel safely over the holidays.

The joint campaign is targeting drink-driving and driving under the influence of drugs, as well as speeding and failure to wear seat belts.

The campaign also asks pedestrians to be mindful of road conditions and to hear high-visibility or fluorescent clothing while out walking.

Garda assistant commissioner John Twomey said that while the number of road fatalities was down this year when compared to 2010, road deaths had a devastating impact on a victim’s family and friends.

“An Garda Síochána is not out there trying to catch people speeding or drinking and driving – we want to stop people engaging in reckless behaviour that endangers their own lives and those of other people in the community,” he said.

“However, we are targeting our enforcement activity and if people choose to break the law, they will be caught.”

He added that 40 per cent of road fatalities were pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists, and asked motorists to be conscious of more vulnerable road users.

Road Safety Authority chief executive Noel Brett said the lower number of fatalities this year – which is 30 lower than at the same point last year – was a sign of a “changing culture by drivers”.

“For the first time there is a there is a possibility that less than 200 people will have died on our roads. I congratulate and applaud Irish Road users for their behaviour on our roads this year.

“Small changes in behaviour and taking personal responsibility saves lives and will continue to do so.”

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