I haven’t updated this blog in about 10 days. In that time, quite a bit has happened.
Clearly the biggest thing to happen was the shocking carnage on the roads in Donegal over St Patrick’s Weekend. In the past, I have not been slow to talk about issues of Road Safety. This time it’s been different. It really has taken me this long to gather my thoughts on the issue.
What happened last weekend has shown, beyond any belief, how serious the problem is in Donegal. Five people died on our roads. Most notably for me was the death, in a hit-and-run, of Laura Hegarty. I didn’t know Laura, but I know her family. What I’ve heard about the incident has really shocked me. The Hegarty family have been hit so hard; I ca’t imagine what they must be going through. Events of the last few days (a driver is understood to have come forward to admit driving the car) may have brought some closure, but the Hegarty family have been robbed of a daughter and sister and there is nothing that can change that.
There were more deaths on the roads in Donegal this weekend. Travelling back from Galway on Sunday night, I passed the scene of an accident in Co Mayo, and missed a fatal accident near Ballybofey by about twenty minutes. This is despite one of the largest Gardai presences I’ve ever seen on the road.
I don’t know the solution to all of this. Well, I do and I don’t. It all comes back to personal responsibility, making people responsibly for their (our) actions on the roads. Some accidents are destined to happen, but many are caused by behaviour that we may not consider negligent at the time (lifting the phone, shouting at the radio, reaching for something in the Glove compartment, not noticing you’ve slipped a few miles over the speed limit), but all become contributing factors in statistical reports on road deaths.
Donegal gets a lot of coverage as being the worst location in Ireland for Road Deaths. This map puts things into perspective; Donegal is terrible, but so is the rest of the Country.
I don’t know what we can do.
The Road Safety Campaign is going from strength to strength. I’d like to thank you all for your comments, posts, emails and texts.
I’ve posted two updates on the RoadSafetyBlog.com site today.
First up was proposals on how to move the project forward over the coming weeks. The big date to hit is November 27th, which is the closing date for submissions to the Road Safety Authority’s Road Safety Strategy, 2007 – 2012.
Secondly, a post aimed at Bebo users. As many of you have said, we need to expand this campaign beyond just bloggers, and we all know how many young people in Ireland use Bebo. I’ve setup a page at http://roadsafety.bebo.com and sent invites to the people I know on Bebo. It’s the first time I’ve used Bebo, so if there’s anyone who can help out with this side of things please get in touch. And, of course, if you’re a bebo user, please sign up!
Comments are welcome; please post them on the original post
I’d really like to thank everyone who has supported the “Stop The Carnage” campaign.
I’ve posted an update on the RoadSafetyBlog.com website with a plan as to how we can proceed, and to get a submission in for the Road Safety Authority’s upcoming Road Safety Strategy 2007 – 2012. I’d appreciate any comments you have on these proposals.
If you have any ideas on ways to spread this campaign, please leave a comment here.
Here’s some of the sites and blogs that have made submissions:
Twenty Major (NSFW)
Comments on Mulley.net
Stall The Ball
Winds and Breezes
The Community At Large
Letters from the Idiot
An update on some recent points, and addressing some new points:
- Once again, we are seeing reports of another tragic accident in Donegal, this time resulting in the deaths of 5 Eastern Europeans following an accident near Buncrana. More info in this Highland Radio article.
- As reported in the Donegal News this week, the council have once again had their case seeking an injunction against an illegal encampment at Kiltoy adjourned. This is hugely disappointing; the case has been before a court on a number of occasions since last autumn but has been adjourned every time. The case is now due to be heard on March 1st.
- Letterkenny Town Council has passed our revised development contribution scheme. The Town Council has followed the same charges as the County Council.
- Residents in the Lismonaghan and Leck areas of Letterkenny have again had to suffer prolonged water outages. For the first time, Council engineers have blamed the shortages on a lack of supply, rather than infrastructural difficulties as on previous occasions. I’ve called for an urgent meeting of the Town Council with Senior Engineers, to put in place a plan to deal with this critical issue.
- My post on Toireasa Ferris has quickly become the most visited item on the site. My thanks to all those who have read, and commented. If you have anything to say, feel free to add it.
If you have any questions, queries or comments, you can either contact me or leave your comment below.