Saturday, December 17, 2005


Carnage on our roads

As Christmas grows near, a familiar and disturbing trend becomes ever more noticeable in this country - road accidents.

I was looking at some of the headlines making the rounds for Friday, 16th December, and they make for grim reading. The number of car accidents is simply out of hand right now here in Ireland. Let me show you some of the headlines from yesterday:

"Man in critical condition after hit-and-run" - 'A man has been seriously injured in a hit and run in west Dublin. The 34-year-old victim is being treated at Tallaght hospital after being struck on the N4 near the Lucan turn-off at 11.30pm.'

"Man killed after being hit by lorry" - 'A pedestrian was killed today after being struck by a lorry on a main road in Co Kildare. Gardaí at Lucan in Co Dublin confirmed they were investigating the death of the pedestrian, in his early 20s, in the accident which occurred around 4.10am on the N4 Celbridge Interchange.'

"Pensioner killed after being hit by car in Laois" - 'A 75-year-old man has died after being hit by a car in Borris-in-Ossory, Co Laois, this morning. The accident happened at Sentry Hill shortly after 9am.'

"Woman killed in Kilkenny car crash" - 'Gardaí in Kilkenny are investigating a fatal traffic collision that occurred at approximately 3.30pm today on the main Kilkenny to Urlingford road.
A trailer became detached from a jeep at Kilrush, Freshford, and struck an oncoming car. The female driver of the car was
killed in the incident. She was removed to St Luke's Hospital, Kilkenny. She was a Tipperary woman in her 20s.'

This is absolute madness ladies and gentlemen. I don't need to tell you this as I'm sure you're aware of the spate of car accidents that have been reported just in the last week. Road deaths have been occurring left, right and centre. Alot of the tragedies which have occurred have been as a result of a horrible condition which scars Irish society - Irish people drinking and driving. Sadly, more people will die in the coming days and weeks.

I've been looking into this issue further and from reading the statistics of the National Safety Council website, 28% of the fatal collisions this year up until the 8th November occurred between 12 midnight and 6am.

As far as those arrested for drink driving go, "Based on past trends it is likely that over 60% of those arrested will have twice the legal level of alcohol consumed".

I investigated the matter further and found the Gardaí's statistics for those killed this year as a result of car accidents. The summary goes up to 9am on the 16th December and the statistics show that:

- 349 collissions have taken place

- 385 people have been killed

To compare last year with this year...

359 people were dead by the 16th December, 2004. Taking into account that this year's statistics only cover up until 9am yesterday, by my calculations, the number of fatalities on our roads this year now stands at a shocking:


That's frightening.

I don't know if anyone reading this blog right now has driven, or regularly drives, whilst under the influence of alcohol. If you have or if you do, I'm not going to lay a big guilt trip on you about it. I'm simply going to say this to you - stop it. STOP IT RIGHT NOW. PLEASE.

Too many people are dying and something must be done to combat this. If you want to go out drinking over the holiday period, leave your car at home. Either that or assign a designated driver. United Irelander has coined this simple motto and he hopes the people of Ireland take it under advisement:

"If ya wanna drive, don't drink. If ya wanna drink, don't drive."

If ever I wanted my words to be adhered to, it's now. For the love of God people show some sense.

Thank you.


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