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Lauren Boland/The Journal
Road Safety

Family death notice: Hard-hitting road safety campaign launched ahead of May Bank Holiday

From 2019 to 2023, there were a total of seven fatal collisions and 80 serious injuries during May Bank Holidays.

LAST UPDATE | 2 May

THE ROAD SAFETY Authority has launched a “death notice” campaign ahead of the May Bank Holiday.

Gardaí and the Road Safety Authority are appealing today for drivers to be extra cautious over the Bank Holiday weekend amid the tragic rise in fatalities on the roads this year.

Over the last five years from 2019 to 2023, there were a total of seven fatal collisions and 80 serious injuries during the May Bank Holiday periods.

2022 saw the highest number of incidents, with four people killed and 32 people injured on the roads during that May Bank Holiday weekend.

RSA Emergency comms_A1 RSA RSA

‘Everyone needs to slow down’ 

RSA CEO Sam Waide told The Journal that the safety campaign launched today is about asking people to have conversations with their family and friends to encourage them to drive safely “before it’s too late”.

“Change your behavior, take care, look out for others, but ultimately slow down. Everyone needs to slow down and drive at an appropriate speed,” Waide said.

“The weather is going to be unsettled this week and the road conditions have a factor to play, so drive at appropriate speed,” he urged drivers.

“Most importantly, have that conversation with your mom, your dad, your friends, your peers, and change that behaviour so that you can continue to talk about road safety after the bank holiday, as opposed to a fatality and mourning the loss of your brother, sister, son, daughter, or your friends. We’re trying to raise that awareness and encourage people to have those conversations before it’s too late.”

RSA review

Recommendations arising from a review of the Road Safety Authority are due to be presented in the coming weeks, the minister of state at the Department of Transport has said.

Minister Jack Chambers said the funding and structure of the agency have been considered as part of the review, which comes against the backdrop of increased scrutiny on road safety management. 

Speaking to The Journal, Chambers said there are “excellent people working in the RSA” and added that conducting a review is in line with “best practice” for state bodies.

“It’s an organisation that has played a really important role in reducing road deaths for the last 20 years. We’re looking at areas like structure and funding and recommendations are due to be presented to me in the coming weeks,” Chambers said.

“The authority will have an important role for the future, but it’s about making sure that it’s best placed in terms of its structure and its financing for the future and that’s what we’re we’re doing as part of the wider review.”

As of 9am this morning, 69 people have died in collisions this year, compared to 53 people at the same time last year.

26 were drivers, 19 were passengers, 12 were pedestrians, nine were motorcyclists, and three were cyclists.  

Cyclists in particular have expressed feeling very vulnerable on the roads due to dangerous driving or blockages in cycle lanes that force them out into heavy traffic.

“We want to work with the cycling community. As part of our wider investment in active travel, it’s about transforming the experience of cyclists and pedestrians so that they feel safe within our villages, towns and our cities,” Chambers said this morning.

“That’s around, first of all, investing in our infrastructure, but secondly, making sure we put in place the enforcement systems so that they’re better protected within our communities,” he said. 

Speed cameras

Gardaí announced yesterday the locations of nine speed safety cameras that are due to be “fully operational” by the end of the year.

The cameras are planned to be located on the N59 (Galway), N25 (Waterford), R772 (Wicklow), N14 (Donegal), N80 (Carlow), Dublin (Dolphin’s Barn), N17 (Mayo), N22 (Cork), and N69 (Limerick).

There are also average speed cameras planned for the N3 (Butler’s Bridge), N5 (Swinford), and N2 (Slane), and an increase in the number of GoSafe camera vans from 55 to 58. 

“The plan is to have a much more extensive rollout of speed cameras in 2025. We’re modelling that on Scotland and trying to make sure Ireland comes closer to the European norm when it comes to speed cameras, but also wider camera based enforcement for people breaking red lights using both lanes,” Chambers said.

“We need to roll out speed cameras in a more extensive way and that’s the plan to put a strategy behind that and then to fund it and invest in it.” 

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