A Cork Road Safety campaign is calling on Corkonians to drive safe this Christmas to halt the rising figure of fatalities on roads across the county.
Twenty-two people have lost their lives on Cork roads so far this year, the highest number in any county in the country.
The Cork Road Safety Together Working Group is urging the Cork public to stem the tide of this tragic carnage.
The group comprises representatives from the Local Authorities; An Garda Síochána, the Fire Services, the Health Service Executive, the Road Safety Authority, and Transport Infrastructure Ireland – agencies who are all too familiar with the devastating consequences of road traffic accidents.
The group are calling on the public to “look out for each other and wrap Cork in safety this festive period and for the New Year ahead. Take your time and think about others when making choices on the road. It could save a life.” Incidents of people being killed or seriously injured in a crash are caused by one of the Fatal Four Factors – speeding, drink and drug driving, using a mobile phone while driving, and failing to wear a seatbelt.
An Garda Síochána will be carrying out 900 road checkpoints over the Christmas period in addition to the normal speed checks, but the organisation has said, it is up to all road users to prevent more tragedies.
This Christmas, the Cork Road Safety Working Together Group is appealing to all drivers to take extra care, check that your vehicle is in safe working order, belt up, slow down, pay attention, and look out for vulnerable road users like pedestrians and cyclists.
A spokesperson for the organisation reminded people: “The road is a shared space, let’s push for a safer space for us all.” Chief Superintendent Barry McPolin said there six other fatal accidents in Cork city this year, between January 1 and November 30 – up from just one in the same period last year. They included four other pedestrians, one driver and one passenger.
The City’s chief urged people to take extreme care and urged vehicle owners to ensure their lights are working and their tyres are adequate for the winter.
“We launched a Christmas campaign the week before last and our roads policing unit are out in strength, along with our regular units out across the city. Our advice is that if you are going out, under no circumstances drink or drive.” Despite the Covid-19 travel restrictions this year, the number of detections for driving under the influence was almost on a par with last year, down by just two incidents from 256 last year to 254 detections this year.
He said: “The traffic volumes were way down year on year due to pandemic. But you can see that we nearly had the same number of people arrested for drink driving and drug driving year on year, even though there are less vehicles on the road. It is a wake-up call for us all.”