IT has not been a great summer so far, but regardless of the weather, this August bank holiday weekend will see thousands of people taking to the highways and byways, heading home or going on vacation to various destinations throughout the country. This is when more care than usual needs to be taken on the roads in order to minimise fatalities and injuries as a result of traffic collisions.
More than 88 people have been killed on our roads so far this year, compared with 114 up to the end of July last year. This is a welcome reduction in numbers, but will be of no consolation whatsoever to the people bereaved by road traffic accidents or those whose lives have been changed forever by injuries sustained.
The total road traffic fatalities for 2014 came to 195, which had crept up from a record low annual total of 162 in 2012. Summertime is traditionally the most dangerous period on Ireland’s roads and, in the last five years, 256 people have died on them in June, July and August.
Speeding is always dangerous and, no doubt, gardaí will be monitoring this closely over the holiday weekend. When people are in holiday mode, they may not be concentrating as well as they should and get distracted more, especially driving on roads they are unfamiliar with. Garda advice is to always drive at a speed appropriate to all the prevailing conditions and, if you get tired, take a break.
West Cork will be welcoming an influx of visitors and we want to see everybody get here and back home safely and enjoy their stay.