Go on, go on: Stay safe on the roads

She may have driven Fr Ted to distraction more often than not, but Mrs Doyle and her inevitable cup of tea are about to drive home a very different message over the weekend.

The legendary image of Pauline McLynn is set to dominate the west of Ireland landscape with a plea straight out of the script from the celebrated sitcom.

The housekeeper will urge all motorists to “go on, go on, take a break” in a bid to reduce the carnage on our roads.

Pauline and Hat Trick Productions, the company behind the phenomenally successful Father Ted series on Channel 4, have agreed to have her image used in the special road safety promotion.

Noel Gibbons, road safety officer with Mayo County Council, came up with the idea and it was quickly given the thumbs up by the Craggy Island team.

The gardaí are also supporting the novel campaign.

“Go on, go on, take a break” is aimed at getting drivers to plan their journeys and to ensure that they do not end up exhausted behind the wheel — and a danger to themselves and other road users.

It is specifically geared towards reducing accidents on the roads over the August bank holiday weekend, traditionally one of the most dangerous periods of the year for serious road incidents.

Figures released this week by the gardaí and Road Safety Authority show that, over the past five years, 12 people have been killed and 27 seriously injured on Irish roads over the August bank holiday weekend.

Road signs featuring Mrs Doyle will be erected across Mayo spelling out the need for motorists to take a break when driving for an extended period.

Mr Gibbons said: “Sadly, many drivers are still falling into old habits, some of which can prove potentially lethal.

“You cannot overestimate the value of stopping for a cup of tea or coffee when driving long distances.

“We want to encourage all drivers to ‘go on, go on and take a break’ as it could save lives — including their own.”

Meanwhile, Irish Water Safety has warned of an increased public risk over the holiday weekend due to spring tides caused by a full moon.

Tidal condition could leave people exposed to stranding around the coastline and strong rip currents.

With August the most popular month for outdoor swimming and aquatic activities, Irish Water Safety appealed to people to swim at beaches and waterways supervised by lifeguards, to stay close to shore, and swim within your depth.

Ireland has an average of 135 drownings yearly. The expert safety advice is:

  • Swim at lifeguarded waterways;
  • Swim parallel and close to shore;
  • Swim with others in bathing areas traditionally recognised as safe;
  • Never use inflatable toys in open water or swim after anything drifting;
  • Pay attention to signs on the beach and supervise children at all times;
  • Never swim in the dark, late at night, or after consuming alcohol;
  • Avoid staying in the water too long.

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