MORE than 8,000 drivers were arrested nationally in 2016 for driving while intoxicated and the Road Safety Authority (RSA) has proposed an innovative new scheme to counteract the scourge of drink driving.
Although in the early days of implementing the new idea, which replicates a scheme already in operation in the UK, of an educational programme for repeat offenders of drink driving, has been received positively by members of the public.
The initiative hopes to implement a new reprimand in the case of drink driving where a repeat offender is given the opportunity to avail of an educational course to learn the consequences of their actions.
The Evening Echo took to the streets of Cork to gauge the reaction of the general public to the proposed scheme and were met with an overwhelmingly pro-education response.
Terry O’Dwyer said she felt trying something new was always worthwhile and she hoped it proved to be a successful scheme.
Eileen McMahon said she thought education was better than sending someone through the courts and also said she thought showing people the consequences of their actions would help minimise the problem.
Susan Hitz also thought showing people the consequences of drink driving would be effective as she felt drink drivers do not connect the dots between what they are doing and what can go wrong.
Some people were more apprehensive about the initiative than others with Janet Leahy saying she felt those who drink drive were not thinking and probably wouldn’t respond to direction, although she agreed it was worth a shot.
It would appear a new approach is needed in tackling the issue which has contributed to the death of 286 people between 2008 and 2012 and an average of 150 drivers are arrested each week on suspicion of driving under the influence.
According to the RSA promoting the safe use of roads in Ireland, and particularly in rural Ireland, is an integral policy measure to protect and sustain our communities from harm.