Monday, May 20, 2024

UN Road Safety week kicks off

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With a rising number of vulnerable road users being killed in crashes, Police are encouraging all drivers to slow down and be mindful of other road users, as UN Road Safety Week begins today.

As of early May, almost twice as many pedestrians – including children– have been killed on the roads than at the same time last year, while more than three times as many cyclists have died.

Other vulnerable road users, including motorcyclists, continue to be over-represented.

“Global road safety week is the perfect opportunity for all of us to think about our driving habits and how we can better keep ourselves and others safe.

When we are using the roads, we really need to be keeping ‘road safety’ at the forefront of our minds every day of every week,” says Superintendent Steve Greally, National Manager Road Policing.

“This is particularly important as the number of road deaths for the year tragically already stands at 132 – 12 higher that at the same time last year.

At that rate, on average there will be close to another 250 people who die and countless more who will be injured by the time the year ends if things don’t change.

“But it doesn’t have to be this way – we can all do something about it.

Taking those few seconds to put on our seatbelt and put away our mobile phone, as well as reducing our speed by a few kilometres an hour and increasing our following distances are all very simple things we can do that can make all the difference between life or death when a mistake happens.”

Mr Greally says another worrying aspect is that 15 pedestrians – seven more than last year – and seven cyclists – compared with two last year – have died as of the first week of May compared with the same time last year.

“The unfortunate thing is that we know so many of these tragedies are completely avoidable.

While all of us are human and mistakes will happen, they should not be at the expense of ourselves or others being killed or injured,” Mr Greally says.

“This means all of us who use the roads having greater awareness of our surroundings and adapting our driving style to allow for the conditions – which includes others who might make mistakes, or who are more vulnerable.

For example, children may not always look before crossing the road, and for safety cyclists need at least 1.5m of space around them when we pass them.

“You can’t control the behaviour of other road users, but you can control your own.”

 

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