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 18th to 7am on Saturday 19th October, the campaign urges 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.
There is no room for complacency. Although 2018 saw the lowest number of road deaths on record – 142 – that is still 142 deaths too many, with all the pain, heartbreak and destruction that comes with each one. And the common denominator is often speed. With National Slow Down Day in mind, the AA is encouraging drivers to be mindful of their speed over the winter period, as well as highlighting the importance of being on aware of the needs of vulnerable road users.
An 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. Ahead of National Slow Down Day, An Garda Siochána also release the following figures in relation to the prevalence of speeding on Irish roads and road safety:
“I think we all accept that, when it comes to the rules of the road, some motorists are guilty of regularly exceeding the speed limit or ignoring other laws designed to prevent serious accidents,,” says Conor Faughnan, AA Director of Consumer Affairs. “When it comes to driving behaviour, many of us are guilty of under appreciating how dangerous driving is because we do it so regularly. Speeding only magnifies the danger that you pose to yourself and other road users, particularly cyclists and pedestrians. 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 winter driving.
Photo by Mick Garratt