Oxegen Festival-goers Warned Over Drugs

There's to be a major road safety focus to coincide with this weekend's Oxegen music festival at Punchestown.

The campaign is focusing on Drug-Driving and festival goers are reminded of the legal and social consequences of driving while under the influence of illegal or controlled substances.

This national campaign called 'Be Part of It' is headed by Kildare County Council, the Kildare Joint Policing Committee and the Regional Drugs Task Force and is supported by the Road Safety Authority and concert promoters MCD.

The initiative invites festival goers to help promote the message by posing with a bill-board of life sized mug-shots which illustrated social and legal penalties such as "A Drug Conviction can lead to foreign travel restrictions."

The message ambassadors took the opportunity to pledge not to drive or travel in vehicles where the driver is under the influence of substances.

The photographs are then posted to Facebook ('Kildare Drug-Driving Awareness - I'm Part of It') as part of a strategy to encourage people to link as active participants in a social campaign. The participating message ambassadors are also entered into a competition for a range of prizes.

Kildare's Road Safety Officer Declan Keogh welcomes the campaign.

"Drug driving poses many and varied risks and dangers to drivers and the aim of this campaign is to highlight the risks associated with drug driving.

"Kildare Road Safety is delighted to be associated with the Joint Policing Committee for this campaign and I feel it will help to serve as a great deterrent to young drivers." he said.

Kildare's Garda Chief Superintendent Michael Byrnes said: ''This campaign demonstrates the benefits of working co-operatively with our partners in the new local Policing Fora across the County.

"Serious problems in society require a concerted effort between communities and authorities to find solutions.

"This imaginative project aims to engage with younger people to stimulate awareness of the risks posed by illegal drug use. It is important that people appreciate the far reaching and life limiting consequences involved in illegal drug use.

"I hope that the younger community can identify with the message and become partners in combating illegal drug use." he said.

Concert promoters MCD are also advising motorists to take care on their journey to Oxegen.

Justin Green said: "Where possible people should use public transport or avail of the avail of the Park & ride system at Goffs.

"For those who must travel by car, we would encourage them to drive safely to and from the event, having regard for other people on the road."

Tens of thousands of people are expected on the roads over the three days, and Monday morning is expected to be the busiest with the majority of those leaving the venue.


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