WATCH: 'Slow down' plead emergency services in Cork ahead of National Slow Down Day

WATCH: 'Slow down' plead emergency services in Cork ahead of National Slow Down Day

Pictured at An Garda Síochána checkpoint on the N71 outside Cork city for the launch of the RSA October Bank Holiday campaign and National Slow Down day is Sam Waide, CEO, Road Safety Authority; and Garda Chief Superintendent Tom Murphy, An Garda Siochána. Pic Diane Cusack

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) and An Garda Siochána have urged motorists to reduce their driving speed ahead of National Slow Down day.

Five people have been killed and 59 people seriously injured in October Bank Holiday collisions between 2016 and 2020.

On Wednesday, An Garda Síochána set up a checkpoint on the N71 outside Cork city for the launch of the RSA October Bank Holiday campaign and National Slow Down day.

National Slow Down Day is a national speed enforcement operation, which will take place for 24 hours from 7am tomorrow - Thursday October 21 - to 7am on Friday October 22.

There will be a focus on rural roads as almost four out of five (78%) fatalities to date this year have occurred on rural roads.

Speaking at the launch of Slow Down Day and the October Bank Holiday appeal outside Cork City, Superintendent Thomas Murphy, Garda National Roads Policing Bureau, An Garda Síochána said: "It is important to thank all of those drivers who do the right thing.

“However, there are some drivers who ignore our speed limits and put themselves and others at risk. This is especially true on rural roads which are often narrow, and where bends and corners restrict a driver’s vision. There are no margins for error on these roads which is why drivers need to slow down when using them.

“A 1% reduction in average speed will bring about a 4% reduction in fatal collisions, and therefore reducing motorists’ speed is essential to improving road safety.” 

Sam Waide of the Road Safety Authority told The Echo that with the clocks going back; days are getting shorter and visibility poorer. As a result, drivers should take more care and be aware of pedestrians and other road users.

“I caution and ask people to rather than get penalty points, slow down and be safe, and enjoy the October bank holiday weekend.

Pictured at An Garda Síochána checkpoint on the N71 outside Cork city for the launch of the RSA October Bank Holiday campaign and National Slow Down day is Sam Waide, CEO, Road Safety Authority; and Garda Chief Superintendent Tom Murphy, An Garda Siochána. Pic Diane Cusack
Pictured at An Garda Síochána checkpoint on the N71 outside Cork city for the launch of the RSA October Bank Holiday campaign and National Slow Down day is Sam Waide, CEO, Road Safety Authority; and Garda Chief Superintendent Tom Murphy, An Garda Siochána. Pic Diane Cusack

“Motorists need to take care and remember that they are sharing the road with pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists who can be difficult to see in poor lighting or in darkness,” Mr Waide said.

Professor Conor Deasy from Cork University Hospital (CUH) told The Echo that CUH often receives patients coming into the resuscitation room whose lives have been changed forever because of significant brain or cervical spine injuries, thoracic or limb injuries, or abdominal injuries.

“We find this time of year that because of the light conditions on the roads, because of slippy road surfaces - cars are hitting pedestrians. 

"We find cars are hitting other cars, motorcycles, or cyclists, so today, the appeal is to ask drivers to slow down,” Professor Deasy said.

Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Hildegarde Naughton, said: “I am asking drivers to support National Slow Down Day this week and every day by easing off on the accelerator.

“Slowing down saves lives, and even small reductions in speed can help avoid a collision in the first place and reduce the severity of a collision.”

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