Staycationers warned to protect themselves from crime as people holiday close to home

Gardaí and the Road Safety Authority also warn people to take precautions to avoid traffic accidents ahead of an anticipated increase in traffic on Irish roads as more people head on staycations.
Staycationers warned to protect themselves from crime as people holiday close to home

A line of campervans looking to access the seafront in Garrylucas in Co Cork. Picture; David Creedon / Anzenberger

‘Stay cautious on your staycation’ is the core message behind a new campaign launched today by the Road Safety Authority and An Garda Síochána.

The campaign calls for staycationers across the country to reduce and eliminate opportunities for crime, as more people choose to holiday at home this summer due to ongoing travel restrictions.

Assistant Commissioner for Roads Policing and Community Engagement at An Garda Síochána, Paula Hilman warned staycationers “to ensure property or valuables are not left visible in cars or other vehicles,” as a means to prevent theft opportunities.

The campaign also calls for staycationers to remain vigilant on the road throughout the duration of their holiday and to plan their routes ahead of time as increased traffic is to be expected in popular holiday destinations.

Chairperson of the RSA, Ms Liz O’Donnell appealed to staycationers in a statement, saying,

 “If you are planning a staycation, it’s only natural for your driving style to reflect the holiday mood. But when combined with driving on unfamiliar roads, it can be a dangerous mix. You need to stay alert when using the road.” 

To date in 2021, a total of 55 people have died on Irish roads, 16 less than the same period in 2020.

All agencies highlighted the need for drivers to be on the lookout for vulnerable road users including motorcyclists, cyclists, walkers, and horse riders and to avoid getting distracted while on the road.

The campaign also urged road users to recognise the signs of driver fatigue, reminding them to pull over, drink a caffeinated drink and get a 15-minute nap if experiencing tiredness while driving.

Chief Executive of the RSA Mr Sam Waide, appealed to staycationers taking a caravan or RV on their holiday “to familiarise yourself with these vehicles and the rules of the road for them before you take to the road. If towing a caravan be aware of the size and type of caravan you are permitted to tow. Remember, the maximum speed limit for towing a caravan is 80km/h.” 

Drivers were also encouraged to ensure that any luggage or equipment loaded onto the roof rack of a car is strapped down securely.

Appeals were also made to cyclists using bicycle racks to make sure rear lights on their vehicle were not obstructed and to use a lighting board when cycling.

Speaking on the campaign, Minister Hildegarde Naughton of the Department of Transport said, “This summer is a wonderful opportunity for all of us to ‘discover Ireland’ but please do so safely when using the road. As our campaign message says, ‘stay cautious on your staycation.”

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