Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Frank O’Flynn, with Garda Supt Mick Corbett; Fergal O’Donovan, Inspector Roads Policing Forces; Pat Horgan, Chairman, Cork GAA; Cork County Council’s Niall Healy, Director of Services, Road and Transportation; and Caroline Casey, Road Safety Officer, at the launch of a new road safety campaign. Photo: Brian Lougheed

County safety campaign calls on adult drivers to set example

A poster-based road safety campaign has been launched in Cork in response to a disturbing increase in road fatalities nationally in 2023.

Launched this week by Cork County Council in collaboration with An Garda Síochána and Cork GAA, the campaign aims to appeal to road users to exercise caution and promote shared responsibility on the roads.

Recent statistics from provisional road traffic collision figures on New Years Day reveal a 19% increase in road deaths nationally in 2023. A total of 184 lives were lost in 173 collisions, compared to 155 deaths in 149 collisions in 2022.

With the simple message of Be a Team Player, Think Road Safety, the campaign emphasises the importance of slowing down, wearing safety belts, avoiding distractions such as mobile phones, and never driving under the influence.

Acknowledging the roads as a shared space for drivers, pedestrians, cyclists, scooters, and motorcyclists, the campaign urges everyone to look out for each other.

The Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Frank O’Flynn endorsed the campaign. “As adults, it is vitally important to model safe behaviour on the roads to young people in our community.

“So, set the example every time you use the road. Be the adult who puts the phone down, puts on your safety belt and insists that all passengers in the car do so, observes speed limits, slows down, and is respectful of all road users. And never drive under the influence.”

The campaign will see signage erected at Páirc Uí Chaoimh, Páirc Uí Rinn and in numerous GAA grounds around county Cork in the next month to remind the public that unlike a mistake on the field, a mistake on the road could cost you your life.

Cork Superintendent Michael Corbett of An Garda Síochána said: “Just like on the pitch where we encourage players to give respect, get respect, the message is similar on our roads. We are reminding all road users to respect each other while out on the roads for a safer journey.”

Pat Horgan, Chairperson of Cork GAA, added: “Cork GAA are delighted to be part of this initiative, safety is always paramount, especially while driving.

“We encourage everyone to stay safe both on and off the pitch. Always wear a seatbelt while driving, wear a high visibility vest when out walking, running, or stewarding.”