Campaign Targets Foreign Tourists On Irish Roads

Posted in Connect on May 29, 2019.

Tourists from around the world have been flocking to the west of Ireland as part of the Wild Atlantic Way, as they look to explore the hidden treasures of this wonderful part of the world . The only issue is that it seems tourists are so keen to take in the gorgeous landscapes that Ireland has to offer, they are putting the safety of themselves, others and the nature of this incredible country at risk; at the very least, because of a misunderstanding of road safety, spurring one local authority into action and supported by the Gardai and Ireland West Airport Knock.

The biggest issue authorities are dealing with is the large amount of road users who have been seen to stop and park along main roads, in order to get out and take photographs of the scenery and forgetting to keep left when driving. The ’empty’ roads of the West can fool foreign drivers as to which side they should be driving on.This is not only incredibly dangerous to you, but to other road users as well. Considering the increasing influx of tourists heading to the country each year, Ireland’s roads are getting busier and potentially more dangerous.

It is estimated that in 2018 Ireland welcomed 8,742,000 million tourists, with many of them having little or no experience in the unpredictable situations that are thrown up in Ireland. There are too many incidents occurring on the roads of Ireland, with many of them being preventable. Previous media reports involving tourists in RTA’s :

This may not seem like a big issue for experienced drivers, but there is nothing to match the conditions experienced in Ireland. The roads are narrow by nature and sometimes the weather is unpredictable. Driving requires a lot of care and focus; it is not something to be taken lightly. We urge everyone who is planning on visiting to take care when driving and to not park dangerously on the roads even for a short period of time to take a photo.

The road safety office of Mayo County Council is supplying Hi Viz vests and stickers with a slogan on them “Keep Left” to car rental companies in the Co. Mayo area based at Knock airport, in the hope of improving the safety of tourists who stop in the road to take photographs and to keep left when driving.

The Local authority is concerned for the safety of tourists who stop their cars “anywhere” to photograph the dramatic scenery of the region.

Garda Sergeant James Malone Divisional Traffic Corps, Castlebar said “They often stop in places that are not easy to see, and when everyone in the car gets out to take photographs and when they return to drive can forget to keep to the left hand side of the road creating a dangerous situations for traffic as a result,”.

Noel Gibbons road safety officer Mayo County Council said “We have now bought vests so that all passengers will have access to them,we also suggest the driver changes their wrist watch from their left hand to their right to remind them of the change they have to make driving on the left hand side of the road in Ireland.”

Speaking on behalf of Ireland West Airport Knock, Marketing Manager, Donal Healy, said ‘We are delighted to support Mayo County Council in enhancing the awareness of road safety and enlightening people on the importance of complying with the rules of the road. As a major international airport with many international destinations we are delighted to be able to facilitate the extension of this campaign to inform customers of the airport of the dangers of driving on unfamiliar roads and other road safety issues and hope the campaign is a huge success’


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