Offaly gardaí support 'European Day Without A Road Death' campaign

Charlie Flynn

Reporter:

Charlie Flynn

Offaly gardaí support ' European Day Without A Road Death' campaign

An Garda Síochána joins the RSA (Road Safety Authority) in supporting Project EDWARD - European Day Without A Road Death, which is taking place across Europe on Wednesday, 19 September.

Devised in 2016 as #ProjectEDWARD by the European Traffic Police Network (TISPOL), the initiative once again aims to raise awareness of road safety and reduce the number of people killed every day on the roads of Europe.

The first Project EDWARD took place on 21 September 2016, and ran again on 21 September 2017. On both days, 43 road deaths were recorded across Europe, compared with a daily average of 70.

To kickstart Project EDWARD 2018, representatives of TISPOL will be undertaking the ambitious #ProjectEDWARD Road Trip from 11 to 19 September. Visiting venues in Ireland, the UK, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Luxembourg and Spain, the road trip team will be stopping off at various events to boost the profile of safety on Europe’s roads and to support the vital work carried out by police officers in reducing road death and serious injury across the continent.

This year Project EDWARD will take place on Wednesday 19 September and has the support of 28 European countries, as well as European Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc and an increasing number of partners from the public and private sectors. Additionally, the #ProjectEDWARD hashtag enjoyed widespread support on social media, trending in most European countries and even on a global scale for a short time.

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris said: "2017 recorded the lowest number of road deaths in Ireland, however we may see an increase in 2018, judging by the number of recent collisions. We can never be complacent about road safety. That is why initiatives such as Project EDWARD are so important in keeping road safety in the minds of all road users. Concentrating 100% when using the road prevents collisions from happening.”

Commissioner Harris added: "Last year the Republic of Ireland recorded zero road deaths on Project EDWARD day. This year we are determined to do all we can again to record zero fatalities on project EDWARD day. We are joining with the PSNI in supporting Project EDWARD, this is an all island of Ireland effort so please do all you can to be safe on the roads. We appeal again to every road user to support this year’s Project EDWARD. Reduce speed, never drink or take drugs and drive, put away the mobile, belt up for every journey and make yourself visible. These are simple life saving tips. Be as safe as you can and should be, not just on Project EDWARD day, but every day.”

Ms. Moyagh Murdock, Chief Executive, Road Safety Authority (RSA) said, "Research conducted by Behaviour & Attitudes for the RSA this year has shown that there is great public support and good will out there to campaigns like Project Edward. In fact of those who were aware of last year’s European Day Without a Road Death, almost three quarters said the initiative was effective in influencing people to drive safer. So raising greater awareness of Project Edward and getting more people to sign up to the online pledge this year are our main goals. Hopefully we will repeat last year’s success of having no deaths on Ireland’s roads on 19 September 2018!”

On Project EDWARD day in 2017, there were zero fatalities in Ireland.

In addition, there were 522 speeding offences, 89 mobile phone, 18 drink or drug driving arrests and 29 safety belt offences detected on the day. Project EDWARD will be jointly supported by the RSA and a significant media strategy will be put in place in advance of this vital road safety initiative.

There will be 150 new Roads Policing members appointed by end of 2018.