Texting drivers are brought to a DEAD halt: hearse used to deliver message to dangerous motorists

Posted in Connect on October 29, 2019.

It’s that time of the year again when our streets and roads will be filled with ghouls, goblins, and ghosts looking to trick or treat their Halloween away. Despite the fun, for children, associated with All Hallows Eve, the public safety of trick or treaters along with animals and motorists remains a priority and distracted drivers is a major concern.

A funeral director and road safety officials are using a hearse drive home a safety message to drivers, in a macabre attempt to hammer home the dangers of using a mobile phone while driving.

As part of a week-long scheme titled ‘Dying to send a reply? Stay alive, Don’t text and drive ‘, Mr Michael Kilcoyne, a funeral director and Councillor, has put this very strong message on his hearse and teamed up with the road safety office of Mayo County Council. The campaign is the result of both of whom wanted to come up with a shocking and memorable way to raise awareness of exactly how dangerous texting and driving can be.

Funeral director Mr Michael Kilcoyne said “it’s not the first time they have partnered with the road safety office, but this campaign is certainly getting the most attention from the public. You can see it at every traffic light at every junction there’s usually always somebody who has the head down to the right and you know what they’re doing, I hope this will get motorists to realise the dangers of driving and texting.

Not everybody has such a positive response to using a hearse in a road safety campaign however. Not that he minds much, however, saying:’ If somebody’s talking about it, they’re thinking about it. Then we’ve done what we needed to do and they won’t end up as one of my passengers. Your mobile phone makes you four times more likely to crash. And when you consider that driver distraction plays a role in 20-30% of all road collisions, phone use and driving is an issue that we all need to think differently about and I don’t want to meet you because you were texting and driving.”

As it’s say on the rear of the hearse still texting and driving? See you soon.

Noel Gibbons, the road safety officer for Mayo County Council, says the campaign tackles a real problem on the roads. With these dark mornings and dark evenings it’s easy to spot the motorists with the mobile phone left on their laps as they drive, and their cars are illuminated by their phones receiving text messages and phone calls causing a distraction.

It is all well and good looking at this and saying ‘that’s OK, it won’t happen to me’. “Anyone who drink-drives, speeds, fails to wear seat-belts or uses their mobile while driving could end up in hospital or the mortuary, or worse, force someone else to be in hospital or mortuary. ”The campaign reminds motorists that every time you check that phone in your lap, your attention strays from the road for five seconds. New rules, which came into effect on May 1st 2015, mean anyone caught texting or “accessing information” on their phones will face a mandatory court appearance and a fine of up to €1,000 for a first offence. This will rise to a maximum of €2,000 for a second offence, and a possible three-month jail sentence, along with a €2,000 fine, for three offences or more within a 12-month period.

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