As over 53,000 students nationwide prepare to receive their Leaving Certificate results, the Road Safety Authority (RSA) is urging them to stay safe on the road if planning to celebrate.
Michael Rowland, Acting CEO of the Road Safety Authority, said: “Congratulations to the thousands of students who receive their Leaving Cert results, it really is a huge moment in your life and marks a new and exciting chapter. However, we don’t want a time of celebration to turn to tragedy because of a moment of recklessness.”
“Use public transport where available and make arrangements in advance for getting home safely. If you choose to drive, remember, if you hold a Learner Permit that you must be accompanied by a driver who has held their full licence for more than two years, and you must display ‘L’ plates, front and year. Make the right choices and never drive under the influence of drink or drugs and don’t take risks on the road.”
“If you are planning on getting a lift from a friend be satisfied that you can trust their driving. Have they taken drink or drugs? Are you putting your life in the hands of someone who takes unnecessary risk on the road? We want you to have fun tonight and to enjoy the celebrations, but we also want you to enjoy the excitement of planning your future. You have your whole life ahead of you, so make the right choice about how you use the roads tonight.”
To date this year, 13th August 2013, 11 young adults aged between 16 and 20 have died on Irish roads, representing 9.3% in 118 fatalities to date this year. Over half of those killed were drivers.
Speaking to parents, Mr Rowland said: “This is also a proud moment for parents around the country as your sons and daughters celebrate the end of one chapter and the beginning of the next. However I would make a special appeal to them to speak to their young adults about responsible road use. Make sure you know who they’re going out with, where they’re going and how they intend to get home. Ask your son or daughter to avoid driving late at night as this is a high risk period for crashes, particularly among young people.”
The RSA has the following road safety advice for parents and their young adults:
· For any young adults choosing to drive tonight, remember that any amount of alcohol or drugs impairs your driving which could lead to a serious collision;
· Don’t carry more people in your car than is safe. Consider limiting it to two or three passengers and ask them to avoid distracting you while you are driving;
· Always obey the speed limits and never drive faster than your experience or the roads allow;
· While it is reassuring for young adults to carry a mobile phone, never talk on your phone or text while driving. Research says that you are four times more likely to crash if you use a hand-held mobile phone while driving and 23 times more likely to crash if you text while driving;
· Remember, everyone in the car should wear their seatbelt, both in the front and rear of the car.