Friday, November 13, 2015

38,519: Number of people killed on roads north & south since records began

Regina, pictured above with Phil Skelton of 1.5 to Stay Alive, said I have been a long time campaigning for safer roads, and particularly I have been lobbying Minister Donohoe to implement the “1.5 To Stay Alive” rule as a statutory obligation when overtaking a cyclist in a vehicle  

Fine Gael TD for Meath East, Regina Doherty, has said that 38,519 people have been killed on our roads since records began.

The Ratoath based TD said “this week the Minister for Transport Paschal Donohoe announced that 38,519 people have been killed on our roads since records began while inviting road-users throughout the island of Ireland to join the international community to mark World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims on Sunday 15th November 2015.”

“A total of 23,752 people have been killed on roads in the Republic of Ireland since records began in 1959. 14,767 people have been killed on roads in Northern Ireland since deaths were first recorded in 1931.

“Just this week our roads in the south of County Meath came to a standstill following a serious collision on the M50. It just goes to show how vulnerable we are on the roads, and this is in a car with a safety belt ; cyclists, protected by nothing but a helmet, are even more vulnerable.

“I have been a long time campaigning for safer roads, and particularly I have been lobbying Minister Donohoe to implement the “1.5 To Stay Alive” rule as a statutory obligation when a vehicle is overtaking a cyclist on the road.

“This year alone we have had 8 cyclist fatalities and this is 8 too many. I have been lobbying for “1.5 To Stay Alive” not only because I think it will save lives; but also, on a personal level. Both my husband and by 16 year old son cycle almost every day of the week and every time they head off on the bike I fear they are at risk.

“I joined Ciaran Cannon TD and representatives from the “1.5 To Stay Alive” in a meeting the Minister a number of months ago to bring to the Department’s attention the many successes that this policy has seen across the globe.

“Enforcement here is key, however, I believe that this is also about changing our mind set; twenty years ago wearing a seatbelt in the car was rare and today we wouldn’t dream of even driving to the local shop without buckling up. I look forward to the day where leaving 1.5 meters space when overtaking cyclists will become second nature and part of our mind set as motorists.

Concluding, Doherty said “’1.5 To Stay Alive’ will save lives on our roads. Today I have written to the Minister and Liz O’Donnell, Chairperson of the Road Safety Authority, and called for a pilot project to be established sooner rather than later with a view to rolling out the 1.5 rule nationwide.

“The RSA is asking people to change their social media profile picture to add the ‘World Day of Remembrance’ candle. People are also being invited to write the name of a loved one on the RSA’s ‘Wall of Remembrance’ on its Facebook page www.facebook.com/RSAireland. The Wall of Remembrance is a place for people to come and share their memories, to light a candle and leave a memorial message for a loved one who has been killed or seriously injured on our roads.” 

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