Stop and think of Ciarán Treacy the next time you consider drink-driving.
The RSA and the Donegal Road Safety Working Group are reminding us all this Christmas that drink driving destroys lives, families and communities.
The clear message this Christmas from the Donegal Road Safety Working Group is – Never, Ever Drink or Drug Drive.
As the festive season approaches, stark warnings have been issued to road-users about the consequences of drink-driving. One focus case this year is about Ciaran Treacy, who was four years old when he was killed in a head-on collision with a drunk driver in Laois in April 2014. Ciarán’s mother Gillian and brother Seán were also in the car, and Gillian was left with devastating injuries.
So many people’s lives will never be the same after Ciaran’s death – his mother Gillian, her husband Ronan, his brother and sister, the Emergency Services who attended the collision, the nurses who fought to save him and the two men who first arrived on the scene.
The advert is just one example of the impact of so many incidents on Irish roads. It reminds us that a crash is never just one person – it sends shockwaves throughout lives, families and communities.
The message from the RSA is simple – stop and think of Ciarán the next time you consider drink-driving, find another way home and never ever drink and drive.
To date, 181 people have been killed on Irish roads this year, an increase of 34 compared to the same period last year. 10 people have tragically been killed in Donegal.
Brian O’Donnell, Donegal County Council Road Safety Officer said, “Our message to motorists is – never, ever drink or drug drive, because the consequences for you and others could be life changing. Simply put, drink-driving destroys lives, at best, you could lose your licence but far worse, and far more difficult to live with, is the possibility of seriously injuring or killing someone on the roads”.
“I would also appeal to passengers as well, don’t take a lift from a driver who has been drinking, if you do, you are putting your life in the hands of a drunk driver. Just one drink impairs your driving – that’s not an opinion, it is a fact. One second, one stupid decision and it can change yours and everyone’s lives around you forever. Christmas and the New Year is a time for enjoying family, friends and social events. It is vitally important to stress the importance of; if you drink, don’t drive and if you drive, don’t drink – it’s that simple”.
Earlier this year, the RSA’s Pre-Crash Report on Alcohol, which examined Garda forensic investigation files into fatal crashes between 2008 and 2012, showed that alcohol was a factor in 38% of all fatal collisions (driver, passenger, pedestrian, motorcyclist and cyclist), claiming the lives of 286 people.
29% of drivers and motorcyclists killed had consumed alcohol. Between January and October 2016, there were 6,629 arrests for driving under the influence – 406 more than the same period in 2015.
There were 665 arrests for driving under the influence during last year’s Christmas Drink Driving Campaign.
Gardaí will be increasing the number of mandatory alcohol testing checkpoints around the country over the next six weeks, which will be run on a 24/7 basis. Gardaí can breath test any driver that has committed any road traffic offence.
Gardai and the PSNI also recently launched their annual cross-border Christmas Drink Driving campaign which is supported by the Donegal Road Safety Working Group as part of their ongoing road safety awareness programme and also reinforces the continued co-operation between both forces with regard to road safety on both sides of the border.
View the RSA TV campaign here: