CORK County Council have reminded people to stay safe over the August bank holiday weekend as part of an initiative to promote fire, road and water safety.
It is the second year of ‘Amber Thursday’ – a collaboration between safety bodies, fire services and local authorities to help keep people safe.
In a statement, the council said that it has been a busy summer already for the emergency services in Ireland: ‘Sadly there have been a number of road and water related fatalities in Ireland recently. Four people lost their lives in crashes during one 24-hour period this week bringing the total number of deaths on Irish roads to 94 people so far this year.’
Cllr Danny Collins, county mayor, has urged the public to look out for each other on the roads this weekend. ‘The increase in the number of deaths on our roads is a worrying trend,’ he said. ‘We know that long journeys can lead to driver fatigue. Speeding and non-wearing of a seatbelt are also common factors in serious or fatal injuries by road users.’
‘Pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists are particularly at risk so please be careful when you are out on the County Cork Roads this weekend.’
The bank holiday weekend is also expected to be a busy time for firefighters, with Cork County Council chief executive Tim Lucey asking the public to bear in mind how dangerous fire can be. ‘Please respect our public areas and never light a camp-fire in parks, wildland areas, close to vegetation or trees and be mindful not to discard any cigarette butts on the ground.’
‘We are also asking everyone to enjoy our stunning coastal landscape but to park responsibly to avoid blocking emergency vehicle access at public amenity areas.’
During the months of June and July, beach lifeguards were called upon to rescue people on six occasions, assisted 16 people in the water who needed help and prevented more than a thousand incidents, according to a statement released by the Council.
Roger Sweeney, acting CEO of Water Safety Ireland stressed the importance of vigilance in and around the water, saying: ‘More people are at risk of an accident on our waterways during bank holiday weekends. Every effort should be made to swim where lifeguards can provide for your safety. Bringing children to any waterway brings with it a responsibility for constant, uninterrupted supervision by an accompanying adult.’
‘Never let children use inflatable toys in open water as they can be swept from shore and place a child at risk of drowning.’
More information on Amber Thursday can be found at www.amberthursday.ie