Mayo & Kerry Road Safety Officers come together to ask Passengers to referee driving habits ahead of Sunday’s game

Posted in Connect on July 11, 2019.

Just like the importance of subs on a football team, passengers also play an important role in road safety. Being a backseat driver could save your life.

With the upcoming Mayo versus Kerry game next Sunday in Killarney, two local authorities and An Garda Síochána are urging passengers to be pro-active when the person behind the wheel is accelerating towards fools territory.

Each passenger is an active participant of the road traffic, passengers should be aware of their roles and responsibilities. The passenger’s opinion is important. They should fasten safety belts, if a driver violates traffic rules passengers should make a comment that in doing so the driver exposes the passenger to risk.

Drivers should also be aware that they are responsible for passenger safety. To date this year, ten passengers have been killed on Irish roads out of 81 people in total.

Both Road Safety Officers from Mayo and Kerry County Councils have said passengers have an important road safety role.

Noel Gibbons, Road Safety Officer, Mayo County Council, said; “Of course it’s hard to speak out when it’s someone close to you that’s driving poorly, and it’s particularly difficult for young people who may feel it could make them look stupid or ‘wimpy’; but if you don’t, then who will?

“The one thing I would encourage all passengers, whatever their age, to do when they get into a car is to look closely at the driver and ask themselves: ‘Do I want to give my safety to you?’ Because once that door slams, that’s what you’re doing.

“I also know that there are times when the driver needs to speak up if they are being pressured into driving erratically by their passengers. All car occupants have a role in ensuring they make their journey safely; one slip, one error or one too many stupid actions by a driver could prove fatal for the passenger.”

Research showed that even small reductions in average speeds resulted in significant road safety benefits according to Michelle Mullane, Road Safety Officer with Kerry County Council; “For every increase in speed of 5km/h above a 60km/h limit, the risk of having a crash doubles. So if you are a passenger speak up, your voice counts!

“If you look at the fatal five of Speeding, Seatbelts, Fatigue, Alcohol & Drugs and Distraction & Inattention, a passenger could influence a good outcome on every one of those.

“There’s a high risk to the passenger if any one of those fatal five are not adhered to.”

Mrs Mullane, who oversees road safety education in Co Kerry, said the mobile phone is a major distraction, one which passengers could help to make drivers aware of.

Patrick Lehane, Roads Policing Superintendent of the southern region added; “I encourage passengers to do what it takes. If you find yourself in a dangerous situation as a passenger, why not use some of the ideas below to help get yourself out of the situation.”

  • “No need to hurry mate, I don’t want to get home too soon.”
  • “Can you stop the car, I don’t feel very well.”
  • “I really need some air, do you mind stopping?”
  • “I feel sick, can you let me out?”
  • “I’ve just seen someone I need to catch up with, can you stop?”
  • “I forgot I need to pick something up, can you pull over?”

Why not snapchat, tweet or post on Instagram a photo of you as a passenger wearing your seatbelt in your county colours with a tagline #redandgreenroadsafety or # greenandgoldroadsafety

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