Road safety paramount

Road safety paramount Road safety should be paramount for all road users, according to Deputy Frank Feighan, who this week welcomed a tougher Garda attitude to the issue of road safety.             ‘Turn on your radio, particularly at weekends and one expects to hear four, five and sometimes more road traffic accidents. Somehow it feels we, as a society, are becoming more immune to this trend.             ‘However the reality is that every road traffic accident is one accident too many. Drivers need to be fully aware of the dangers of busy roads, difficult driving conditions and factors such as speed, fatigue and driver error, which cause so many accidents.             ‘I welcome the initiative of the Gardaí in adopting a stronger attitude on the issue of road safety, which is to be welcomed. However, without the will and the resources to implement these measures, these measures will have no impact.             ‘I agree and indeed believe in the obvious necessity of speed cameras, speed controls and checkpoints. However the clear presence of Garda personnel has, I believe, a far more beneficial effect upon motorists’ behaviour. Once observing Garda personnel, most drivers instinctively reduce their speed.             ‘There is also an obvious onus upon motorists and other road users to observe the rules of the road. Driver courtesy and respect to other road users such as cyclists, pedestrians and farmers using tractors, is necessary and is also a two-way process.             ‘Motorists should at all times take cognisance of the prevailing weather conditions and make sure they have the correct air pressure and correct tread width in their types.             ‘It is also vital that motorists travelling long distances have, if possible, driver back-up to share driving and also to take adequate breaks for tea/coffee and rest. Statistically it is difficult to prove but more and more accidents on our roads are caused by driver fatigue.             ‘I applaud the great work of our Gardaí and the National Safety Council in highlighting the need for improved road safety. However it is regrettable that in recent weeks, with many road accidents on our nation’s roads, the Government’s own Road Safety Authority have been very quiet on this issue.             ‘Perhaps it is no surprise that this is the case, bearing in mind the Authority seems to be yet another toothless, talking shop for the Government to hide behind, giving the impression of a group doing a lot, but delivering little.             In conclusion, road safety is, for the most part, self-enforcing and it is incumbent upon all of us, to ensure safety on our roads not just this holiday season, but throughout the year,’ Senator Feighan concluded.