Most of the Irish bloggers have been picking up on the spate of road deaths lately and suggestions have been asked for my the various authorities with responsibility for Irish roads. The current discussion has been prompted by the horrific crash two weeks ago in Monaghan where 5 young men died. Councillor Damien Blake has asked for suggestions from bloggers so he can prepare a report for the relevant agencies.
Prime Time on RTE One dealt with the issue and brought various parties together to discuss what could be done. The most poignant segment of the program was an interview with a seventeen year old lad who has been left paralysed after he crashed his dad’s car at speed. The lad will spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair but instead of being depressed about it he’s trying to be positive. He said the only thing that would have got through to him, in terms of not speeding, was someone in his position now. Isn’t it sad that we’ve got to this stage?
I’ve yet to start driving myself but any person in Ireland (or any country) can list off examples of bad driving that they’ve experienced. So where does the root of the problem lie for Ireland? Education needs to be improved for certain. Teenagers in Transition Year need to be taught basic driving skills akin to “Driver’s Ed” in the US. It’s way too easy for young people to get on the road without sufficient knowledge of what damage they can do to themselves and others.
There’s also the drink factor in all of this. The majority of the weekend accidents take place when the pubs and clubs close. You’re not going to convince anyone that these lads doing ridiculous speeds down dark country roads have been drinking 7-Up all night. Despite all the ads and warnings it’s still acceptable to drink and drive in some parts of rural Ireland. If it’s ok for John, the middle-aged doctor to have a few pints and drive home cos he can “handle” it, what’s to say that Tom, a 25-year-old labourer shouldn’t do the same? If your caught drinking and driving more than once you should be suspended from driving for three years. Simple as.
You can read what other Irish bloggers are saying about the problem here.