Today Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross T.D. visited the RSA stand at the Motorbike and Scooter Tradeshow to experience their shuttle and roll-over simulator. These are used by the RSA nationwide to educate the public about killer driver behaviours.

The Minister said: “There have been 32 road deaths already this year. This is not acceptable. Behind that number are 32 families whose lives have been destroyed. Parents who will never see their children again. Teens that should be in school or college are now buried six feet below. These are all appalling tragedies. But what makes them so much worse, is that they were avoidable tragedies.                                               

For those who need to connect the cold statistics of 32 fatalities with living people, the RSA’s Crashed Lives campaign does just that. Gillian Treacy, surviving life changing injuries as she held the dead body of her young son Ciaran, Noel Clancy, arriving to hear the screams of his wife and daughter as they drowned in their car in a flooded ditch. This is the reality of road deaths. This is what 32 families have already experienced this year.

There has been resistance in some quarters to recent road traffic legislation – particularly to do with drink driving and learner drivers. There has been dangerous rhetoric about rural Ireland being under attack from road safety laws. Rural Ireland is where the majority of road fatalities take place. The Government is increasing funding in better, safer roads in rural areas, in more public transport choices, in education and enforcement and support for those who drive, walk or cycle.

Today I am appealing to everyone to do their bit to promote road safety. Obey traffic law. Encourage others to do likewise. Educate yourself about killer driver behaviour. You may save a life.”

Ms. Moyagh Murdock, Chief Executive, Road Safety Authority said, “It has not been a good start to the year. Worryingly there have been 32 fatalities on the roads to date in 2019 and this represents an increase of ten deaths compared to last year. While it is still too early to predict how the year will turn out one thing is for sure, each and every one of us has the power to influence the outcome. So we are calling on everyone, whether you are on foot, two wheels, four wheels or more, to take greater care when using the road and abide by the Rules of the Road which are there to protect us all. If we don’t all it takes is a split second for things to go horribly wrong when using the road.”

Sheena Horgan, CEO of Drinkaware said: “Research from the Drinkaware Index shows harmful drinking patterns are most evident among young males under 35. Men are twice as likely as women to have admitted to drink driving and while this remains an issue, we look forward to working with the Minister for Transport to make Irish roads safer for all.”