Gardai and the PSNI launched their annual cross border Christmas drink driving campaign this week and all road users are urged to ensure they have a safe way of travelling home from a night out over the festive season.
The campaign is supported by the Donegal Road Safety Working Group (DRSWG) as part of their ongoing road safety awareness programme and also reinforces the continued co-operation between both forces with regard to road safety on both sides of the border.
DRSWG Christmas Road Safety Campaign is encouraging all road users to ensure they have a safe way of travelling home from a night out over the Christmas & New Year holiday season. The campaign focuses on preventing drink driving over the festive period, asking 'Who will be taking you home tonight?'
The image features taxi driver Paul O'Keeney, Sgt. Mark Traynor, Letterkenny Roads Policing Unit, Paddy Doherty HSE Ambulance Service and Ernie Gibson, Funeral Director demonstrating that anyone who does decide to drink or drug drive could be arrested, be seriously injured or even be killed.
Inspector Michael Harrison from An Garda Síochána said: "We are appealing to drivers this festive period, not to drink or take drugs when driving. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs will impair your driving and put the lives of yourself and other road users at risk. We will have roads policing operations running throughout the Christmas period, we are appealing to drivers who are out socialising, not to take the risk of driving under the influence of either alcohol or drugs. There has been a significant increase in the number of drivers that have been arrested for driving under the influence this year. Please do not put your own life in danger or the life of others by driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs".
Brian O'Donnell, Road Safety Officer added: "Alcohol affects everybody's driving for the worse. It creates a feeling of overconfidence, makes judging distance and speed more difficult and slows your reactions. All too often at this festive time ambulance crews are faced with the chaos caused by driving under the influence of drink or drugs. Either the driver is injured or they injure others, sometimes seriously, which is unacceptable. There are alternative ways of getting home, there are taxis and having a designated driver is always a good alternative. Please have a great festive season but don't drive under the influence - we don't want you to end up as a casualty or even killed. We are keen to promote this message over the next few weeks with support from local organisations including local businesses, restaurants, bars and nightclubs."
Gardai launched their Christmas Drink Driving campaign on the N13 at Listillion, Letterkenny on Monday, December 2 and also along with the PSNI, launched their annual cross border Christmas Drink Driving campaign on the N13 at Bridgend.
Everyone involved in promoting road safety, would like to take this opportunity to wish all road users a Happy and Safe Christmas and New Year.