Road safety message finally hitting home

The road safety message is getting through in helping to reduce the number of accidents on Donegal’s roads, the county road safety officer has said.

The road safety message is getting through in helping to reduce the number of accidents on Donegal’s roads, the county road safety officer has said.

The Donegal Road Safety Working Group is holding its fourth Road Safety Road Show next week when up to 3,000 school children from all over the county are expected to attend the show in Letterkenny. This year’s show comes on the back of the lowest road death figures in the county in recent times.

Five people have died on Donegal roads so far this year, compared to 19 in 2010 and 14 in 2009. The number of road traffic collision is down nationally, but provisional figures for the year show the decline is steeper in Donegal compared to other counties.

27 of the county’s secondary schools are expected to be represented at the event along with the county’s five youth reach centres, Fás and a number of schools from across the border.

Other factors, as well as education, could be influencing the decrease in fatalities including the new speed camera network, people socialising less and fewer cars on the road.

Donegal County Council Road Safety Officer Eamonn Browne believes the approach to road safety taken in the county is working. The Road Safety Road Show is aimed at the county’s high risk age group, he said.

“We now have 20-year-olds out there who were the first through the show and I would say it has influenced their driving behaviour. We still meet students and we talk to teachers and they say undoubtedly students remember and take away a very clear message from it. “It is a very powerful tool and we continue to use it and that is whey we work so hard to get all the 16 and 17-year-olds in the county to experience the school.”

He said it is highly likely for the first time ever that there will be under 200 fatalities nationally for the year and Donegal could have its lowest figure for some time. “You touch wood but this year there is a difference.”

Mr. Browne said schools have to be praised for continuing to bring their students to the event despite tighter school budgets.

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