Slow down. It’s a long-standing message but one that is always worth repeating, which is why AA Ireland are pleased to support Slow Down Day, the latest road safety initiative led by An Garda Síochána.
Running from 7am on Friday 21st to 7am on Saturday 22nd October, the campaign will urge drivers to ‘Slow Down’, with the aim to reduce the number of speed-related collisions, save lives and reduce injuries on our roads. Gardaí will get the message out with high-visibility enforcement right across the country; national, local and social media messages; and a competition where primary schools can win a visit by the Garda band by creating their own road safety poster, poem or song.
There is no room for complacency. Although 2015 saw a welcome reduction in deaths on Irish roads to 162 – the joint lowest on record – a marked increase this year has us on course to exceed that total again, with all the pain, heartbreak and destruction that comes with it. And the common denominator is often speed.
A recent RSA report on fatal collisions between 2008 and 2012 found that excessive speed contributed to one in every three fatal collisions during that time. But it is avoidable, and even small changes can make a big difference – as a general rule a 1% reduction in average speed will bring about a 4% reduction in fatal collisions. This is why reducing motorists’ speed is essential to improving road safety.
“I think we all accept that, when it comes to the rules of the road, motorists in Ireland often take too lax an approach,” says Conor Faughnan, AA Director of Consumer Affairs. “When it comes to driving behaviour, speed is the most lethal bad habit you can develop behind the wheel. Not only does it significantly increase your chances of being in a crash, it also makes the outcome of any incident more severe.”
Road users can support the campaign by using the hashtag #slowdownday on social media.
Check out our recent blog on safe motorway driving.