With an increase in the number of motorists on Irish roads expected over the coming days, the AA is calling on all road users to be extra careful, particularly as many people will be travelling on routes they’re less accustomed to.
The motoring organisation expects many people to take to the roads across the country this weekend, as they take advantage of the long weekend by heading off on a road trip or to an event.
“We always see changes in driver behaviour when it’s a long weekend. People are rushing to their destination and so they do not drive responsibly. We know that 94 people have lost their lives on Irish roads so far this year. This is very concerning and we are urging motorists to take extreme care, stick to speed limits, wear your seatbelt, do not use your mobile phone behind the wheel and never ever drink and drive,” says Anna Cullen from AA Ireland.
“Many motorists will also travel on routes which they may not be particularly familiar with, so it's really important that all drivers pay attention and are patient in the coming days. Watch out for vulnerable road users like cyclists and pedestrians. Long weekend or not we need to keep our roads safe,” adds Cullen.
The AA welcomes the news that fines for motorists caught speeding, using their phone while driving or not wearing seatbelts will double in the next few weeks.
“We welcome any measure that will protect people on our roads. The increased fines are a step in the right direction, however we would like to see an increase in penalty points, increased Garda presence on the roads and potentially a further increase to the fines,” Cullen states.
“With record high fuel prices at play here, we’d also like to remind motorists that you will actually make savings by slowing down. Reducing your speed on a motorway from 120kmph to 100kmph will reduce fuel consumption by up to 20%. Keep this in mind at the weekend,” she adds.
With an increase expected in the number of people undertaking length journeys, the AA Rescue team is bracing itself for a busy weekend, with additional resources being deployed as an increase in the number of breakdowns is expected.