An Garda Síochána will conduct a national speed enforcement operation 'Slow Down', supported by the Road Safety Authority and other stakeholders, for a 24-hour period from 7am on Friday, October 18 to 7am on Saturday, October 19.
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.
The overall objective is to reduce the number of speed related collisions, save lives and reduce injuries on our roads.
In terms of road safety, 2018 was the lowest on record with 142 road deaths, however it is still 142 road deaths too many.
We can never be complacent about road safety. Excessive and inappropriate speed is a contributory factor in approximately one third of fatal road traffic collisions. 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.
Chief Superintendent Paul Cleary, Roads Policing Bureau said: "This is the second Slow Down day of 2019 and it could not come at a more appropriate time. Roads deaths are significantly higher than this period last year and with the darker, wetter weather approaching, vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists will be at higher risk over the coming months. Lowering speed is crucial for reducing injuries in the event of a collision and keeps everyone in the community safer. Please check your speed and support Slow Down day, not only on the day, but every day.”
He continued: "Whilst most drivers abide by the speed limits, there has been an increase of 15 percent in detections to date in 2019 compared to 2018. It is also very disappointing to see some drivers detected driving considerably over the speed limit. Our social media accounts are full of such examples. Each time a driver chooses to drive at an excessive or inappropriate speed is potentially a serious or fatal collision. Please don’t be one of the driver’s detected speeding on Slow Down day and make that choice to drive safely every day”
Ms. Moyagh Murdock, Chief Executive, Road Safety Authority said: "Excessive and inappropriate speeding is the biggest killer behaviour on our road, it’s a contributor factor in a third of all fatal crashes. Remember the two second rule, or four in wet conditions, that’s all the braking space you will have if you need to stop in a hurry.
What a driver considers small increases in their speed could be the difference between life and death for such vulnerable road users. A pedestrian or cyclist hit by at 60km/h will only have a 1 in 10 chance of survival, however if hit at 30km/h, 9 out of 10 will survive. This is especially true in vulnerable road user rich environments like towns and cities. So please support ‘National Slow Down Day’ and every day by reducing your speed. Not only will you save lives you will also save money by being more fuel efficient.”
The operation will consist of high visibility speed enforcement in over 1,000 speed enforcement zones, as well as the delivery of a road safety message through national, local and social media.
Government Departments, local authorities, public and private sector fleet operators are 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.