2013 saw an increase in the number of people killed and injured on Donegal roads and this, according to Brian O’Donnell, Road Safety Officer with Donegal County Council, is why there is no room for complacency when it comes to road safety.
“I was appointed Road Safety Officer in January of this year and the key focus of my job is to increase road safety awareness in Donegal and to work with all the relevant authorities through the Donegal Road Safety Working Group to implement the Donegal Road Safety Action Plan. This includes the Fire Service, HSE, An Garda Siochana, Donegal Youth Council, Donegal Youth Service and the Road Safety Authority.”
Brian believes promoting road safety is a necessity and talks about the Council’s role in a bid to ensure that road safety in Donegal doesn’t fall under the radar.
“We appeal to all road users to heed the safety appeals that are highlighted throughout the year. Working together to make the roads safe prevents the pain and suffering that accompanies every fatal and serious injury and road traffic collision. By making a conscious effort to make small changes to the way we behave we can make a huge difference.
“It’s the small things that mean the difference between life and death such as wearing a seatbelt on every trip no matter how short, by slowing down a little, by not driving while tired, not using your mobile phone while driving and by looking out for walkers, cyclists and motorcyclists. Of course these road users can help too by being seen and wearing bright, reflective clothing. Every agency involved in road safety needs to play their part, but critically everyone who uses the road has a role to play in keeping our roads safe.
“We have recently joined up with the Donegal GAA County Board and launched a road safety campaign for the football season. We are encouraging all road users to change their behavior and make these changes part of their lives in the future, which we hope will save lives and reduce serious injuries on our roads” said Brian
The award winning Road Safe Road Show which takes place in mid October each year has proved to be a very effective way of reaching young people at secondary school level. This is a hard-hitting road safety message and aims to positively influence those drivers who are about to start out on what will hopefully be a long and safe motoring career.
Even though schools out for the summer the issue of road safety is not and Brian is urging parents and guardians to teach their children by example.
“Even though the school holidays have commenced the issue of road safety does not go on holiday. We all have to be vigilant. Young children are very vulnerable, especially out and about near traffic. It is important to set a good example and to make smart choices about how you use the roads: strictly keep to the speed limits and reduce your speed, make sure you and your passengers are wearing seatbelts before you set off on a journey, no matter how short and never use your mobile phone for any purpose while driving.
Road Safety facts
As of Friday 9th May, 63 lives have been lost on the roads in Ireland, compared to 66 on the same date last year.
Tragically seven children under the age of 16 years have lost their lives on Irish roads in the first four months of the year.
Road Safety tips
- Drive at a safe speed and always observe the speed limit
- Always wear your seatbelt and ensure your passengers do the same
- NEVER drink and drive
- Do not use a mobile phone while driving
- Speed should be adjusted according to road conditions
Find out more about Road Safety at www.rsa.ie