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I READ recently that Road Safety Association chief Noel Brett warned that one in 10 drivers have admitted to falling asleep behind the wheel but use ineffective methods such as opening windows to try to stay awake.
He said drivers are advised to stop and nap for 10 minutes and get some fresh air before resuming their journey.
As a frequent driver from Cork to Dublin, I couldn’t agree more.
But where is all this supposed to take place? I find the new roads excellent but tiring, boring and somewhat hypnotic.
However there are few, if any, designated lay-bys to stop at the side of the road. Of the few I have seen recently (and I mean very few), some, even though they could accommodate up to six cars, have a sign up saying “Garda Only”.
Are we to assume this is for gardaí in six garda cars to deal with their driver fatigue but force the public motorist to drive on by with tired eyes?
Incidentally, I did pull over recently at the side of the road for a quick nap when I felt my eyelids heavy and immediately a garda car pulled up behind me. I was asked what I was doing. I was asked also for my driving licence and I had all my tyres checked
As driver fatigue is certainly responsible for many road deaths, especially on the long stretches of new roads, then surely there should be designated lay-bys on theses road every 30 to 40 miles or so. This would be cheap, effective and save lives.
And please... not just for gardaí only.
Dr Conor Kiely
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