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24th Mar 2021

Gardaí to conduct speed checks across Ireland on National Slow Down Day on Friday

Stephen Porzio

There were 148 road deaths in 2020, a rise in eight from 2019.

Gardaí are to conduct a national road safety speed initiative for 24-hours between 7am on Friday, 26 March and 7am on Saturday, 27 March.

The aim of the “Slow Down Day” is to remind drivers of the dangers of speeding, increase the public’s compliance with speed limits and act as a deterrent to driving at inappropriate speeds.

Gardaí say this is to reduce the number of speed related crashes, as well as injuries and deaths.

In the period between January and December 2020, there were 137 fatal collisions resulting in 148 fatalities on Irish roads.

A Road Safety Authority (RSA) report on fatal collisions between 2008 and 2012 found that excessive speed was a contributory factor in almost one third of all fatal collisions during that time.

In a statement ahead of the Slow Down Day, Gardaí warned: “The higher the speed, the greater the likelihood is of a collision happening and the more severe the outcome of that collision.

“As a general rule, a 1% reduction in average speed will bring about a 4% reduction in fatal collisions, and this is why reducing motorists’ speed is essential to improving road safety.”

The Slow Down Day will consist of high visibility speed enforcement in over 1,300 speed enforcement zones.

Chief Superintendent Ray McMahon of the Roads Policing Bureau said: “We are asking all drivers to support our National Slow Down day and not exceed the posted speed limit.

“It is vital that you adjust your speed to all the road, traffic and weather conditions which prevail at any given time. It goes without saying this is not only for one day, but for every day.

“We will continue to maintain our focus on non-compliant drivers as they pose a risk to themselves and other road users”.

CEO of the RSA Sam Waide added: “Speeding is a factor in a third of fatal crashes each year and those most at risk are vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists.

“Hit at 60km/h, a pedestrian has only a 10% chance of survival. Hit at 30km/h, a pedestrian has a 90% chance of survival.

“Slowing down behaviour saves lives, particularly when road conditions are wet. This means increased braking distances. In these conditions you need to slow down and leave a greater distance between you and the vehicle in front.”

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