Up to 30% of fatal collisions are the result of speeding.
As the October Bank Holiday begins, An Garda Síochána and the Road Safety Authority (RSA) are urging motorists to reduce their speed and be mindful of vulnerable road users.
Slow Down Day, a national speed enforcement operation, will run for a 24 hour period from 7am on Thursday, October 21st to 7am on Friday, October 22nd, 2021.
While An Garda Síochána will be focusing its enforcement activity across all speed limit zones, there will be a focus on rural roads. This is because almost four in five fatalities to date this year have occurred on rural roads with a speed limit of 80km/h or above.
With clocks going back on October 31st, Sam Waide, CEO of the Road Safety Authority reminded motorists to be mindful that the visibility of vulnerable road users will be reduced.
“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. Cyclists and pedestrians can increase their visibility on the roads by wearing reflective clothing.
“In dark clothing, a pedestrian or cyclist is only likely to be visible 30 metres away, in low beam headlights. By wearing something reflective they become visible at 150 metres away, the length of a football pitch.”
‘Bends and corners restrict a driver’s vision’
Superintendent Thomas Murphy, Garda National Roads Policing Bureau, An Garda Síochána urged drivers to think before pressing the accelerator.
“There are some drivers who ignore our speed limits and put themselves and others at risk,” he said.
“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.
“We are asking all drivers to support our National ‘Slow Down’ Day not just on ‘Slow Down Day’ but every day. If we all slow down a little, we can make a big difference. 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.”