The Donegal Road Safety Working Group (DRSWG) has issued an appeal for motorists to take extra care on the roads this summer.
The warning comes after six people have lost their lives in road traffic collisions in Donegal this year to date including two pedestrians, two drivers, one cyclist and a motorcyclist.
Last year a total of five people lost their lives in road accidents ion Donegal.
This time of year is an extremely high risk time on the roads with higher volumes of traffic, due to people being on holidays, more relaxed and unfortunately more off guard.
There are thousands of visitors from abroad using the roads and people travelling to locations for their holidays and different events, more agricultural machinery using the roads and these all contribute to why it is a high risk time of the year to be travelling.
Evidence is even suggesting that motorists are driving at extremely excessive speeds on the roads, motorists are still drink or drug driving, using a mobile phone while driving and not wearing seat-belts.
Brian O’Donnell, Road Safety Officer says “I would appeal to all road users to act responsibly and practice good road safety habits and I would remind motorists that driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal.”
He adds “Motorists also need to be aware that you may not be safe to drive the morning after a night out, as you may still have alcohol in your system. It is no longer acceptable in society to drink or take drugs and drive, at any time of the year. No one has the right to put other road users safety and lives in danger because of their selfish behaviour.”
Brian O’Donnell also explains that driver fatigue can be a particular problem at this time of year.
He said “With motorists travelling long journeys at this time of year, heading off on holidays and visiting family and friends, motorists suffering from fatigue put themselves at risk of falling asleep behind the wheel which substantially increases their risk of being involved in a collision. Remember, the only way to avoid the danger of driver fatigue is to make sure you get enough rest and take breaks when travelling long journeys”.
The main messages for the busy period ahead on our roads are very clear – never ever drive after consuming alcohol or drugs or travel in a car driven by someone who has consumed alcohol or drugs, always obey the speed limits, reduce speed in inclement weather conditions and allow plenty of time to arrive safely at your destination, always wear your seatbelt, never use a mobile phone while driving and beware of driver fatigue.
Too often motorists take a risk and make the wrong decision. Is that risk worth a life?