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The Road Safety Authority (RSA) is urging people nationwide to continue their life-saving behaviour and get involved in the national and local efforts to reduce road deaths. This plea comes as the RSA announced details of their annual ‘drive to save lives’ during ‘Irish Road Safety Week’ which takes place nationwide from Monday 8th October to Sunday 14th October.
To date this year (10th September 2012), 122 people have lost their lives on Irish roads. Of these, half (50%) were drivers and 17 were pedestrians. Even more worryingly, almost one third of road-users killed (32%) were aged between 16 and 25 years old.
Mr Gay Byrne, Chairman, Road Safety Authority said: “Over the past five years, road-users in Ireland have proven just what can be achieved when we all take responsibility for the way we use the roads. And for that, I thank you. Although we have seen further reductions in road deaths this year, we have still lost 122 people in what are preventable tragedies. ‘Irish Road Safety Week’ is a time to reflect on your own behaviour on the roads, think about the improvements you can make to be a better, safer driver and how you can help to save even more lives on our roads.”
A number of road safety activities will take place throughout the country during ‘Irish Road Safety Week’, beginning on Monday 8th October with the RSA’s Annual Academic Lecture in the Royal College of Physicians . This year’s lecture will focus on medical fitness to drive in an effort to generate awareness of the issue among the medical community, road safety stakeholders, general public and media. Last year, 186 people were killed on Irish roads. While many factors contribute to road safety, a driver’s health is an important consideration. Driving is a complex task involving perception, judgement, responsiveness and physical capability and a wide range of medical conditions, disabilities and treatments can negatively impact on a driver’s crash risk. Medical standards for driver licensing are measured internationally to ensure that the driver’s health status does not increase their risk of being involved in a collision and the purpose of this year’s lecture is to review and discuss international best practice in an effort to develop similar standards in Ireland.
The keynote speaker for the lecture is Professor Richard Marottoli MD, Associate Professor in Geriatric Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, who will deliver a lecture on his research in this area. Professor Desmond O’Neill MA, MD, FRCPI, AGSF, FRCP(Glasg), National Director for Traffic Medicine RCPI/RSA will respond to Professor Marottoli’s lecture with a presentation called ‘Mobility and Traffic Safety – A Lifespan Approach’.
The lecture will also serve as an opportunity to formally launch the new National Programme Office for Traffic Medicine which has been established by the RSA and the RCPI. Based in RCPI, its remit is to develop medical fitness-to-drive regulations and advise on public policy and communication strategies to promote an understanding of traffic medicine.
In addition, the following activity will take place around the country:
As part of ‘Irish Road Safety Week’, there will be a renewed focus on tyre safety as part of an initiative being run by the Irish Tyre Industry Association to raise awareness of the need to maintain tyres, particularly coming into the winter months. Free tyre checks will be available nationally at participating tyre centres, along with a free safety pack (while stocks last). Further information is available at http://www.itia.ie/tyreweek/index.html and in the ‘Tyre Section’ of www.rsa.ie
- A series of ‘Driving for Work’ FREE seminars, run by the RSA, HSA and An Garda Síochána, will begin during Irish Road Safety Week with a seminar in the Harlequin Hotel in Castlebar on Thursday 11 October and Dorrian’s Imperial Hotel, Ballyshannon, Co Donegal. These free half day seminars are designed to help business owners, managers and supervisors understand how effective management of work-related road risks can benefit the bottom line. They also promote awareness of the importance of having safe driving for work practices. See www.drivingforwork.ie for more information.
- ‘Beep Beep Day!’, a road safety awareness day for children, will take place in almost 1,400 pre-schools around the country on Friday 12 October. Children aged 5 and under will practice basic road safety messages with the ‘Simon and Friends’ road safety storybooks, songs, games and activities. Information regarding child safety in cars is also being distributed to parents. This event is coordinated nationally by the RSA and organised locally by the County and City Childcare Committees.
- In support of Irish Road Safety Week, iRadio will be running their ‘I is the Limit’ campaign throughout the week. The campaign rewards road-users who drive within the speed limit in an effort to promote the importance of safe speed.
- The RSA and Setanta Insurance will also be launching this year’s ‘Keep Drama off the Roads’ which invites budding film-makers to submit a script in response to a road safety theme. This year, the theme is ‘Texting and Driving’ and the winning entry will receive €3,000 as well as the opportunity to work with a production team to see their concept come to life in video. Details of the competition are available on www.keepdramaofftheroads.ie
- The RSA will also be running a series of free giveaways on their Facebook and Twitter pages throughout Irish Road Safety Week. For further information, visit www.facebook.com/RSAIreland and www.twitter.com/RSAIreland
- ‘European Night Without Accident’ will not take place during this years IRSw but instead on Saturday 20th October in various Counties Country wide. Locations will be confirmed in the coming weeks. This will be the sixth year that Ireland will participate in this initiative which is happening in 27 European countries in 2012. The initiative is run by young adult volunteers aged between 17 to 29 who encourage each group to choose a “designated driver” who agrees to make a promise: he/she commits themselves to being sober when they sits behind the wheel of their vehicle. When the “designated drivers” leave the nightclub, the volunteers give them the opportunity to undergo a breath analysis to check if they have honoured their commitment. There is also a series of initiatives being planned by road safety officers in Local Authorities around the country. For further details, visit www.rsa.ie .
|The Annual ‘Leading Lights in Road Safety’ Awards will be presented at an award ceremony in Farmleigh in December 2012. They will not be taking place as part of Irish Road Safety week this year. These awards honour the efforts made by individuals and groups around the country to promote road safety at national and community level. The Awards were introduced in 2008 to celebrate the outstanding efforts of people across Ireland to make roads safer for everyone. They provide a special opportunity for members of the public to honour the contribution of exceptional people who promote road safety in their communities. These awards recognise the extraordinary and often ‘unsung’ contributions of people across Ireland to making our roads safer.
The call for nominations will take place on 10th October 2012 and the closing date for submissions is yet to be confirmed. Specific dates will be decided in the coming weeks. The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in Farmleigh House in December 2012.
Activities happening around the Country Include;
Mayo County Council offering FREE eye test for IRSW in association with participating OPTOMETRISTS. click here for more details