Road blessings in bid to cut carnage

Noel Gibbons: "The Blessing of the Roads ceremony takes places in parts of Australia each year to raise local awareness of road safety, and we are bringing it to Mayo this year,"

Roads in the west are to be blessed in an attempt to reduce the carnage caused by traffic crashes.

Road deaths in the West have risen in recent years, while figures for fatalities nationally have been falling.

Single-vehicle crashes involving male drivers constituted the largest number of fatalities last year, while road deaths in the region have risen from a low in 2010.

Speeding in 80kph and 100kph zones has also been identified as a major factor in fatalities in the West.

The ceremony, which will place at all Catholic and Church of Ireland churches on Easter Sunday, is promoted by the road safety office of Mayo County Council.

“The Blessing of the Roads ceremony takes places in parts of Australia each year to raise local awareness of road safety, and we are bringing it to Mayo this year,” said the council’s road safety officer, Noel Gibbons.

Rev Val Rogers of Westport said the trauma of road crashes for families and communities was devastating.

“A major focus of the campaign is to promote the issue of driver fatigue, drink-driving and speeding, as well as praying for the safety of not only all road users, but our gardaí and emergency services.”

READ MORE: Off-duty garda arrested on suspicion of drink driving

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