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Dublin: 7 °C Thursday 21 November, 2019
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Gardaí to place focus on learner drivers during Bank Holiday weekend

Gardaí confirmed that 141 people have already lost their lives on Irish roads this year.

Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

MOTORISTS ARE BEING urged to stay safe on the roads this Bank Holiday weekend, with the gardaí saying that they will be particularly focusing on learner permit holders over the next few days during their ‘high-visibility’ campaign.

There have been 141 deaths on the Irish roads so far this year, which is five fewer deaths than the same period last year. Gardaí are now urging people as we move into the colder, wetter and darker weather, to take extra care on the roads, whether they are pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists or motorists.

Motorists are being urged to be ‘winter ready’ and make preparations to ensure their vehicle is safe for the colder weather ahead.

As people get ready for the next few days, Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport Leo Varadkar TD said that this weekend, as with every bank holiday, there is a greater risk of deaths and serious injuries on our roads.

With the clocks going back this weekend, there will also be fewer hours of daylight. This makes it even more important to be visible on the roads. If we could all learn one thing from the tragedy of road collisions, it would be how quickly and easily lives can be shattered. So I am asking everyone: young, old, cyclists, pedestrians, motorcyclists and drivers, to be extra careful on the roads this weekend.

Check vehicles

Assistant Commissioner Gerard Phillips said that the gardaí’s message to each and every road user is to take all necessary steps to protect themselves no matter how they use the roads.

Vehicle users need to check their vehicles, and make sure they are “winter ready”. Every driver should also be adjusting their speed to drive at an appropriate safe speed for all the conditions around them. Pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists need to see and be seen. Hi visibility clothing is not expensive, and it makes a massive difference in the ability of others to see you early on a dark or poorly lit road.

The Assistant Commissioner said that the gardaí have run four separate operations targeting learner permit holders, and since  these started in March they have seen an increase in compliance with regards to being accompanied by a fully qualified driver and displaying L plates.

Noel Brett, CEO of the Road Safety Authority, welcomed the garda enforcement of the rules of the road relating to learner drivers. He also appealed directly to the parents of young learner drivers to “stop turning a blind eye to what’s going on and do not allow their son or daughter access to a vehicle, unless they are accompanied and have ‘L’ plates displayed”.

Read: New driving laws will include clampdown on ‘drug driving’>

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