05/01/2011

Festive Driving Figures Positive

Provisional statistics on traffic incidents over the Christmas and New Year period indicate increased compliance among road users, according to Gardaí this morning.

During An Garda Síochána’s Christmas and New Year road safety campaign, which ran from November 22 to January 3, a total of 1,149 drink driving incidents were recorded, compared to 1,501 for the same period last year.

Reporting the positive figures, John Twomey, Assistant Commissioner for Traffic, said that despite the improvement there was still motorists who are not heeding the messages on road safety.

"Over the festive season, An Garda Síochána dedicated considerable time and resources enforcing the Road traffic Act in a bid to reduce the number of fatal and serious injury collisions on our roads and to stop irresponsible, life-threatening behaviour on our roads.

"Unfortunately 10 people lost their lives in the month of December and we again plead with all road users to exercise caution while travelling on our roads. We are asking motorists to slow down, to make road safety a priority for 2011. Please make it your resolution to take responsibility for your actions on our roads, to improve road safety for the benefit of everyone in the community."

Fixed penalty notices were issued to in excess of 3,000 motorists for driving in excess of the speed limit, while 965 motorists were prosecuted for driving while using a mobile phone.

Statistics showed a reduction on the number of prosecutions for the same period in 2009 and while the reduction in detections compared to last year may be due, in part to the adverse weather conditions experienced during the last weeks of 2010, Gardaí believed road users were increasingly complying with the legislation and changing their behaviour to make the roads safer.

Mr Twomey added: "I commend everyone who has changed their behaviour on the roads. because of you, lives will be saved in 2011.

"We all have a role in reducing the number of deaths and serious injuries on our roads and I thank you for your decision to heed the Garda advice and taking responsibility for safety on our roads."

Since 16th November 2010, the new network of Garda mobile safety cameras has been in operation on roads where there is a history of speed-related collisions in an effort to reduce the incidence of speed-related deaths and injuries.

(DW)

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