Road Users Urged to Take Care Over Christmas

9 December 2014

Environment Minister today made an impassioned plea for road users to take extra care over the Christmas period

Mark H Durkan made his comments after engaging with stakeholders at a meeting of the Road Safety Forum at Stormont yesterday. The Forum discussed the rise in road deaths and the need for everyone to be particularly vigilant on the roads, especially during December which has seen high levels of road deaths in previous years.

Mark H Durkan said 'The Christmas party season is now well under way, but this is a time when the nights are at their darkest and visibility poorest for drivers, riders and pedestrians, increasing the danger as we use the roads. So please take steps to increase your visibility for fellow road users. I want everyone to enjoy Christmas and New Year but I want them to do it safely.

Already this year, there will be 75 empty places at dinner tables this Christmas due to road deaths. Let us all do our best to make sure there are no more.

I implore everyone to pay attention, slow down, wear your seatbelt and avoid driving when over-tired or if drink or drugs have been consumed.

It can be tempting to take an unplanned drink, particularly at Christmas parties and consider driving home. However, even small amounts of alcohol impair driving. Leave the car at home and use a taxi, bus, train or a designated driver who can enjoy complimentary soft drinks under Coca Cola's Christmas road safety campaign.

You may still be over the limit in the morning, so if you have to get to work, the shops or drop children to school the next morning, do not take a chance , make other arrangements.

One poor decision on the roads can change lives forever.

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