Gardaí to crack down on motoring offences on Irish roads for upcoming European Day Without A Road Death
For the third year in a row, An Garda Síochána will place their full support behind a road safety initiative known as Project EDWARD.
European Day Without A Road Death takes place on Wednesday 19 September, and Gardaí are urging everyone to reflect on one simple question:
'What can I do for road safety today?'
It's a maxim that applies at all times on the roads, and Project EDWARD is geared toward raising safety awareness as 70 people, on average, lose their lives on European roads on a daily basis.
On both Project EDWARD days to date, 43 road deaths were reported across Europe.
In contrast, on Project EDWARD day on 21 September 2017, there were zero fatalities in Ireland.
On that day, 522 speeding offences, 89 mobile phone, 18 drink or drug driving arrests and 29 safety belt offences were detected.
As of Friday 6 July, Ireland has recorded 80 road fatalities, four more than on this date last year.
Marking the third year of the initiative, An Garda Síochána are teaming up with the Road Safety Authority of Ireland (RSA) in a bid to reduce the number of people killed on Irish roads.
The project, organised by European Traffic Police Network TISPOL, has the support of 28 European countries.
"A day without a road death is of course the vision we should strive for every day, not just on 19 September," said TISPOL General Secretary Ruth Purdie.
"But we have seen that Project EDWARD is a simply yet highly effective awareness-raiser, whether or not we achieve zero deaths on the day itself.
"Casualty reduction must remain a priority for all national governments," Purdie continued. "There were some excellent reductions in road deaths and serious injuries in the first decade of this century, but they have largely stalled in the past five years.
"It is therefore vital that we re-focus our attention on the efforts needed to bring about significant and long-lasting reductions."
Purdie went on to express the belief that a zero fatality figure on 19 September is "very unlikely" but said that the project can be considered a success if figures continue to fall far below that of the European average of 70.
As such, drivers, riders, pedestrians, cyclists and other road users are asked to pause, take caution and ask themselves how they can help with road safety on this day.
Transport Minister Shane Ross offered his backing at the Dublin launch on Friday.
"I would really encourage everyone to get behind this year's European Day Without A Road Death," he said.
"This is an opportunity for road users across Europe together in one concerted effort to reduce road deaths. This year let's make it a record-breaking safety event in Europe and save more lives."
Motorists are asked to make the following pledge in respect of Project EDWARD:
- Remind my family, friends and colleagues to take extra care on the roads.
- Put my lights on for safety.
- Drive as safely as I can and follow the rules when behind the wheel or riding a motorbike or bicycle.
- Be extra vigilant and attentive to the needs of pedestrians, cyclists, children, older people and horse riders.
- Drive at speeds that are both legal and safe.
- Carry out proper safety checks on my tyres.
- Pay particular attention when driving near schools, and where there are lots of children.
- Never drive after drinking alcohol or taking drugs/medicines that could impair safety.
- Look as far ahead as possible and not tailgate other drivers
- Always wear my seat belt and ensure that everyone with me wears theirs.
- Not use my mobile phone while driving.
- Ensuring I am not distracted by anything inside or outside the car, or inside my head.
- Set a good example to my passengers by driving calmly and safely.
- If I’m a passenger, make sure that the driver is fit and legal to drive
Those interested can pledge their support directly on projectedward.eu