The road to eradication of drink driving

Megan Conway

As Christmas approaches and the winter weather sets in, we often find ourselves getting caught up in the hustle and bustle of shopping for gifts, work parties and exams. The stress that comes with the festive season means that as young adults we tend to use the holiday period to go out with our friends to celebrate and relieve our stress but unfortunately, these evening spent with loved ones in pubs and clubs can sometimes lead to tragedy on the roads and fatal collisions

Over the last number of years, the Road Safety Authority alongside on Garda Síochána have worked tirelessly to promote road safety, particularly coming up to Christmas. They use moving television, newspaper and radio advertisements to highlight the stress caused to the families of those lost to traffic accidents. They promote numerous drink and drug driving campaigns throughout the year and constantly campaign for road safety, however, this seems to have fallen on deaf ears.

The RSA and An Garda Síochána launched their annual Christmas and New Year’s Road Safety campaign last week in an effort to combat the amount of traffic accidents that are alcohol related at Christmas. However, they also said that alcohol is a contributory factor in 38% of fatal crashes in the lead up to Christmas. The figures are terrifying to say the least. The drink driving problem in this country is continuing to rise as more than 7,400 people have been arrested for drink-driving this year, a 12% rise on last year. The foolishness in driving over the legal alcohol limit can be described as nothing more than selfish.

However, it’s not just drunk drivers that can be held responsible as drunk pedestrians also attribute to a huge number of fatal accidents on the road. These people fail to consider how their actions are impacting those around them until it’s too late. We get so caught up in the festivities that we forget about the real heroes of Christmas time, the people who try to prevent tragedies on our roads. The Guards who patrol the streets and roads from morning to night and carry out alcohol and drugs tests on drivers. The ambulance drivers and the fire brigades who are often the first responders to the fatal road accidents. The doctors and the nurses who work tirelessly to save the lives of the victims. Even the taxi drivers or designated drivers who stay out all night to make sure people get home safely, these people are the real heroes of Christmas and it’s important that we recognise their hard work over the Christmas holidays.

Christmas is all about celebrating with friends and family but both drivers and pedestrians need to be more responsible in the lead up to the holidays on the roads. Penalties for drink driving have progressively increased over the years however the number of people continuing to drive over the limit isn’t decreasing. When there’s alcohol in your system your concentration is reduced, your vision is impaired and you are slow to react, you are not capable of driving a vehicle and if you do, you run the risk of tragically taking your own or someone else’s life. Road accidents are unavoidable but drink and drug-related accidents can be stopped. Driving over the limit is inexcusable so its time that it is eradicated for good.

Megan Conway

Image by Singapore Criminal Lawyer