Remembrance day for road traffic victims

THE World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims takes place on Sunday next.

We in the PARC road safety group ask the representatives of all faiths to include as appropriate some note of prayer or remembrance in their liturgies and gatherings for all those who have died and were injured on our roads and for all those who grieve the loss of their loved ones.

A special ceremony of remembrance takes place in Knock Shrine at noon that day. Those killed and injured in each of the 32 counties will be remembered in a special way. Given that more than 3,000 people are killed and more than 100,000 are injured on roads worldwide every day, it is imperative that governments and all of us as individuals play our part in reducing these figures. The price in terms of human loss, grief and care is immense.

Last month Ireland had a road safety week which began with an international conference in Croke Park where we heard from an array of experts on road safety issues around the world. It emerged from that conference that the major factors causing death and injury on our roads are speed, alcohol/drugs and carelessness.

A recent survey carried out by PARC, in conjunction with Alcohol Action Ireland, found the vast majority of our population are in favour of a reduction in the present drink driving limit, which is one of the highest in Europe. We are very encouraged by the determination of Noel Dempsey, Minister for Transport, and Noel Ahern, minister of state with special responsibility for road safety, to bring the new Road Traffic Bill before the Oireachtas.

It is heartening that our public representatives have such courage and determination to lead the change of attitude and behaviour that will save lives and lessen the suffering endured by so many. The bill will include a reduction in the drink driving limit and the introduction of compulsory testing of all drivers at collision scenes. This change will save lives, prevent injury and consequently benefit all of us in these recessionary times.

As we remember those who have been killed and injured on our roads, we appeal to all our public representatives to do everything in their power to help enact this legislation.

Susan Gray

PARC

Inishowen

Co Donegal

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