Pat the Cope Gallagher launches USI pocket guide to staying safe on the road
Minister of State for Transport, Pat the Cope Gallagher, TD today (Sunday, 22 April 2007) launched 'Road Safety - your pocket guide to staying safe on the road. The guide is the initiative of the Union of Students of Ireland (USI), the Road Safety Authority and Rally Ireland. It is aimed specifically at studentsand outlines in a factual manner the greatest threats to young people on the road. The Minister said he was particularly pleased to launch the guide as the world's first UN Global Road Safety Week starts tomorrow and runs until next Sunday, 29 April 2007. The theme for the week is "young road users".
Pat the Cope also welcomed a five year partnership, agreed between the USI and the Road Safety Authority on improving road safety awareness.
Speaking at the launch, Minister Gallagher said: "This joint venture between the USI the Road Safety Authority and Rally Ireland is a positive step in helping to make our roads safer through increasing road safety awareness among young people. Young people are one group of road users who are particularly vulnerable. Unfortunately, every county in Ireland has seen several of its young people become victims of road carnage. What a needless waste of life."
The pocket guide highlights key threats to young people on the road, including;
Fact: over 40% of fatal accidents are caused by excessive or inappropriate speed, which makes speeding the single largest factor contributing to road deaths in Ireland.
Fact:up to 20% of fatal crashes could be linked to driver fatigue.
Fact: drink driving is a factor in over one third of all fatal crashes in Ireland and almost a quarter of drivers killed were under the legal limit when they died.
Prescribed & non-prescribed drugs
Fact: one in five people have driven a vehicle shortly after taking drugs. Drug driving is as dangerous as drink driving.
Fact: without a seatbelt, 3 out of 4 people will be killed or seriously injured in a 50kph (30mph) head-on crash.
Fact: You are four times more likely to crash if you are using a mobile phone while driving.
Referring to the pocket guide, Pat the Cope said: "One statistic in the pocket guide is that the biggest cause of deaths in Ireland is speeding. The profile of the young driver most likely to be killed or injured in car crashes is male, aged between 17 and 25 years with a licence for less than two years. I congratulate USI on your initiatives. Their actions in raising awareness among their fellow students will help change driver attitude and behaviour, two vital elements necessary to make our roads safer." It only takes a short few minutes to read the pocket guide, Pat the Cope said and encouraged all third level students to take time out to do so when it becomes available in third level colleges nationwide. "Furthermore, the partnership between USI and the Road Safety Authority will ensure that road safety awareness is taken into and becomes part of every campus", he added.
Issued by, Veronica Scanlan 087 6430622