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May Bank Holiday Traffic Campaign

Don't Repeat Last Years May Bank Holiday Carnage!


As the May Bank Holiday weekend approaches, the Road Safety Authority (RSA) is appealing to road-users not to repeat the carnage of last year when 13 people were killed and seriously injured over the bank holiday period.  

Over the past five years, 31 people have been killed and 71 seriously injured during the May Bank Holiday weekend.

Noel Brett, CEO, Road Safety Authority said: "This year, 31 families are being reminded of their loss and are still coming to terms with the death of a loved one. We are appealing to road-users not to be a statistic. Please please let’s not repeat the carnage of last year."   Brett added: "This weekend our message is around Driver Fatigue. Take regular breaks when making a long journey and if you are fighting sleep at the wheel, stop driving!" 

Research shows that driver fatigue is as dangerous as driving when over the drink drive limit and could be a contributory factor in as much as 1 in 5 driver deaths in Ireland.* 

Drivers who persist in fighting sleep at the wheel can experience ‘micro sleeps’ whereby they will drift in and out of consciousness for up to 10 seconds, even with their eyes closed.

If a driver has a ‘micro sleep’ for just four seconds while travelling at a speed of 100 km/h, the car will have travelled 111 metres with no-one in control. 

The RSA is appealing to drivers to be aware of the risks of driving while tired and not to ignore the warning signs. Brett concluded: "Let’s all take responsibility for our behaviour on the roads and ensure we all arrive alive this May Bank Holiday."  The RSA is offering the following advice to motorists over the coming weekend:  What to do if you are a tired driver


2. If you start to feel tired, stop driving and park the car in a safe place.  

3. Drink two cups of coffee. Caffeine takes between twenty and thirty minutes to enter a person’s system and take effect.  

4. Take a 15 minute nap. By the time you wake up, the caffeine should have taken effect.  

5. Get out of the car, stretch your legs and get some fresh air. You should now be fit to drive for another hour or so.  

6. In cases of extreme tiredness brought on by sleep deprivation, the only cure is sleep. 

To highlight the dangers of driver fatigue, the RSA will be running a ‘point of danger’ advertising campaign over the May Bank Holiday weekend. The campaign includes radio advertising, petrol station advertising and website activity.   

For further information, please contact the Road Safety Authority website at www.rsa.ie

  Professor Jim Horne, Head of the Sleep Research Laboratory, Loughborough University, UK, advising the RSA has said driver fatigue could be a contributory factor in 1 in 5 crashes in Ireland.  

Table 1. May Bank Holiday Killed and Seriously Injured Statistics, 2000 to 2007 May Bank Holiday Year Killed Seriously Injured KSI

2000 2 15  17

2001 3 22  25

2002 3 16  19

2003 9 14  23

2004 6 10  16

2005 6 22  28

2006 4 18  22

2007 (provisional) 6 7  13     

Overall Total 39 124  163  


Garda Press Office


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