Kildare’s Road Safety Officer Declan Keogh has offered some advice to Kildare motorists on how to stay safe on the roads this August Bank Holiday weekend.
“Overall, whether you are staring local or traveling long distances, never take a chance by having that 'one' drink. Use the 'Designated Driver' rule. (Taxi, Bus or a life from a sober driver). Remember,after a long evening of drinking alcohol, and into the late evening or early hours the next morning, you are not safe to drive a vehicle the next morning, regardless of whether you hadn't driven the night before. The longer you drink, the longer it takes to clear from your system.”
Mr Keogh noted that while the August bank holiday is the busiest of the year, there are more dangers and he said we all should show courtesy and consideration to other road users.
“Everyone knows at this stage that the August Bank Holiday weekend is by far the busiest on the roads, and this in itself brings added risks and dangers with it. Being courteous to other road users goes along way on your journey. Giving way to other drivers, moving over for a cyclist, allowing a pedestrian plenty of time to cross a road, these can all contribute to better and safer road behavior and attitudes. By doing the opposite, its not going to get you to your destination any quicker really'.
Mr Keogh added: “People should be confident in the fact that the gardai will be out in force across the weekend and the only way to pass them unnoticed or undetected, is if you do things right. Being sober while driving, driving within the speed limit, having a seatbelt on each occupant plus all the other necessary safety factors. A simple mistake by an unexpected occurrence can change people lives forever, we all need to avoid those occurrences and be aware and alert of everything around us.”
Some general advice:
Travelling a long distance?
Before your journey, ensure your vehicle is safe for the journey.
Check your tyres are not worn or torn. A good tyre should be at least 1.6mm or more in depth.
Check the vehicle for oil and water and ensure you have enough water in the windscreen dispenser.
In order to have and clear vision all around you, check that all your mirrors,lights and indicators are clean and clear and that your lights and indicators are all working.
Plan your Journey
Before setting out, know how long the journey should take. Would you know approximately how long it should take you to travel from Naas to Cork for example? For a journey of this length, don't drive the whole route without having at least three 10 to 15 minute breaks along the way.
Run a quick search on GoogleMapsT and pick out a few locations along the way for a pit stop such as service stations, hotels, car parks etc.
If you are traveling with young children in the car, it may be an idea to have something in the car to entertain or occupy the children.
Driver distraction can be a problem for many drivers and if you have to keep 'checking the child' behind you, that is taking away one for the safe factors on the journey.
Bear in mind, you have had a relaxing weekend, or perhaps an exhaustive weekend! Either way, the journey home is statistically more tiring than your initial starting journey.
Add in more pit stops along the way on long journeys.
Be aware that, the relatively quiet road you traveled to your destination two days ago will be much busier on the way home, therefore, more hazards, more risks and much more attention is needed.
Keep the kids happy! Ensure you have something to keep them entertained or occupied on the way home.
If you are tired from driving, pull into a safe location for a 10 to 15 minute nap. (Motorways are not a safe place to have a nap)!
Be Safe - Be Seen - Drive Safe -Drive Sober - Belt up - Reduce Speed - Share the Road - be a courteous and considerate road user.
Have a safe and enjoyable weekend.