An Garda Síochána will conduct a national speed enforcement operation “Slow Down”, supported by the Road Safety Authority (RSA) and other stakeholders, for a 24 hour period from 07.00hrs on Tuesday 28th February to 07.00hrs on Wednesday 1st March 2023.
The aim of “Slow Down Day” is to remind drivers of the dangers of speeding, to increase compliance with speed limits and act as a deterrent to driving at excessive or inappropriate speed. The overall objective is to reduce the number of speed related collisions, save lives and reduce injuries on our roads.
It is important to remind drivers at this time of year, the end of the winter period, when road conditions begin to improve and driver behaviour can change in line with that. Any increase in speed contributes significantly to the severity of any road traffic collision.
Last year saw fatal and serious injury road traffic collisions increase with 156 people fatally injured, the largest death toll on our roads since 2016. January of this year had the highest number of Road Traffic Fatalities of any January in 10 years, with 20 fatalities.
Recent Garda enforcement data and RSA research demonstrate that drivers continue to speed. During 2022, 73% of fatal collisions occurred on rural (80km/h or more) roads with 27% on urban roads.
It has been estimated that 30% of fatal collisions are the result of speeding or inappropriate speed.
Chief Superintendent Jane Humphries, Garda National Roads Policing Bureau said: “It is important to thank all of those drivers who do the right thing and drive not only within the necessary speed limits, but at speeds that are appropriate to the conditions. However, each and every day across the country we continue to detect drivers travelling in excess of the speed limit. We know that a reduction in average speed will bring about a reduction in fatal collisions, and therefore reducing motorists’ speed is essential to improving road safety. Last year sadly saw an increase in fatalities on our roads, we have a collective responsibility for keeping each other safe on the road and I’d appeal to all road users to think about how their actions can have an impact on the lives of others.
Chief Superintendent Humphries continued:- We are asking all drivers to support our National ‘Slow Down’ Day not just on ‘Slow Down Day’ but every day. If we all slow down a little, we can make a big difference”.
Mr. Sam Waide, CEO, Road Safety Authority, said:- “Excessive speed continues to be a leading contributory factor in fatal and serious injury collisions in Ireland and internationally. It has been estimated that 30% of fatal collisions are the result of speeding or inappropriate speed. Evidence shows that many drivers are choosing to speed in our towns, villages and on rural roads. The RSA’s Free Speed observational study found that half of all drivers (52%) were observed speeding on urban roads and over a quarter (27%) were speeding on rural roads. This National Slow Down Day, and indeed every day, please remember the faster you drive, the more likely you are to crash which could result in death or serious injury. Slow down – drive at a speed that is appropriate to the conditions and your experience and remember a speed limit is not a target.”
The operation will consist of high visibility speed enforcement across the road network. We will also deliver the message through various media channels to remind people of the potential impact on families and communities of speeding.
Government Departments, Local Authorities, Public and private sector fleet operators are invited to participate in the initiative by circulating to employees the key message of “Slow Down” and, whether driving for business or private purposes, to always drive within the speed limit and at a speed appropriate to the prevailing conditions.