The Gardaí are conducting a national speed enforcement operation 'Slow Down', supported by the Road Safety Authority and other stakeholders, for a 24-hour period from 7am this Friday to 7am on Saturday.
The objective is to reduce the number of speed related collisions, save lives and reduce injuries on our roads. The aim of 'Slow Down day' is to remind drivers of the dangers of speeding, increase compliance with speed limits and act as a deterrent to driving at excessive or inappropriate speed.
In terms of road safety, there was a marked increase in road deaths in 2016, resulting in 188 road deaths. This upward trend in 2016 must be reversed.
Excessive and inappropriate speed is a major contributory factor in road traffic collisions, further confirmed by the recent RSA report on fatal collisions between 2008 and 2012 which found that excessive speed was a contributory factor in one third of all fatal collisions during that time.
The higher the speed, the greater the likelihood is of a collision happening and the more severe the outcome of that collision. As a general rule a 1% reduction in average speed will bring about a 4% reduction in fatal collisions, and this is why reducing motorists’ speed is essential to improving road safety.
The operation will consist of high visibility speed enforcement in speed enforcement zones, which now number over 1000, as well as the delivery of a road safety message through the use of national, local and social media. In addition, Garda personnel will man display stands in key venues to provide road safety advice and distribute road safety leaflets.
Government Departments, Local Authorities, Public and private sector fleet operators have been invited to participate in the initiative by circulating employees with the key message to "Slow Down” and, whether driving for business or private purposes, to always drive within the speed limit and at a speed appropriate to the prevailing conditions.
Assistant Commissioner Michael Finn, Roads Policing said: "We are appealing to the public to support our initiative to create an awareness of the dangers of excessive speed on Slow Down day. We are appealing to motorists to adhere to the posted speed limit, but also when conditions dictate, reduce your speed even further.
"We have been running this initiative since 2012 and every year thousands of drivers have supported it by not speeding, but there were still 927 detections last May. This represents 927 potential serious or even fatal speed related collisions. This year we aim for there to be no detections, to achieve this we simply ask every driver to obey the posted speed limit.
"As of today’s date there has been fewer road fatalities compared to last year, but we can never be complacent and say the job is done. Excessive or inappropriate speed is still a major factor in road traffic collisions, along with many other causes. Please help us to make the road safer by taking greater care in everything you do on the roads – and especially by supporting this Friday’s Slow Down Day."