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Environment : Road Safety Last Updated: 2, Apr 2018 - 10:02

Final Lesson for Exam Students - Points You Don't Want
By Noel Gibbons
12, Aug 2014 - 18:57

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Leaving Cert students from Co. Mayo and Co. Galway receiving their results will also be getting a message urging them to drive safely.

A road safety message is being included with their results informing them of the dangers they face on Irish roads.

The Council says after the stress and tension of the exams, it is understandable that young people will want to celebrate and let off steam.

"We want young people to be aware of the dangers in cars, and not to put themselves or their friends at risk, especially when it comes to travelling to venues to celebrate," said Noel Gibbons, Road Safety Officer with Mayo County Council.

The leaflet being distributed carries statistical information about the implications of speeding and the likelihood of accidents among the 17 to 25 age group.

Deirdre Caulfield Road safety Officer Galway County Council said "We are also encouraging parents to stress the dangers of speed and drink-driving to their teenage children. Let this be a joyous occasion and not a memorable occasion for all the wrong reasons."

The campaign is being lead by Cathaoirleach of Mayo County Council, Councillor Damain Ryan, Mr Ryan said: "Firstly I would like to congratulate all the students on their results and wish them well in their further studies, the exam results is a period of time of increased social activity and knowing that your family or friends have made it home safely from their night out or family get together is important so please plan ahead".

The Offence



"Dangerous Driving" and "Careless and Inconsiderate Driving"

This is judged on the standard of what an average person would consider to be reasonable driving.  Dangerous Driving falls far below this standard.

These offences vary from taking small risks that can end in accidents or death, Doughnuts, Burnouts on the Road, side by side road racing, dangerous overtakes, etc. would all fall into this.  During these manoeuvres, the driver is unable to properly control the vehicle and poses a risk to other road users.


Travelling above the speed limit.  This can also be going too fast for the current conditions - ie speeding in fog or ice.

"Speed limits life".  Speeding remains the element in almost all accidents where people are killed or seriously injured.  Speed reduces your ability to stop in time, deal with a problem on the road such as mud, sheep, ice etc.  A pedestrian hit at 20mph has a 3% chance of death, as 35mph, a 50% chance.

Seat Belts

Self-explanatory.  Everyone knows they should wear a seat belt in the front seat, but many people still don't realise how dangerous it is not to wear a seat belt in the back.

You've seen the adverts - it stops you going through the windscreen headfirst or crashing into those in the front of the car if you are sitting in the back.  Seat belt wearing saves over 2,000 lives every year.  In a crash at 30mph, if you are unrestrained, you will hit the front seat, and anyone in it, with a force of between 30 and 60 times your own body weight.

Excessive Noise or Defective Exhaust System

To do anything to your vehicle, which makes it more noise than usual - modify the induction unit etc.  This can include a very loud sound system continually playing or revving your engine while stationary.

This one is down to complaints from local people who believe the "Boy Racers are going mad in this place".  Your vehicle uses extra fuel and creates an impression of speed and annoys the neighbours.

This is the one, which gives young motorists a real bad name.  Police will respond to community concerns and must be seen to be dealing with these issues effectively.

Incorrect form of Registration Plate

Either the plates are not standard plates, ie patterned reflective or hiding a logo, or the lettering is too small or not in the agreed font.

Number Plates are important in identifying cars for all sorts of reasons, a Hit and Run Road Traffic Offence, Automatic number plate readers to prevent crime for example.  Plates are a necessity - not a fashion item!

Sun Strips / Darkened windows - Driver unable to have a clear view of the road ahead.

These are strips, which are generally not added by the car manufacturer.  They can be total tints or writing on the windscreen.

These are particularly a danger to pedestrians at night.  It is like wearing sunglasses at night - you just wouldn't be able to see the road properly.  They can also be used by criminal elements to prevent themselves being recognized or identified.

Failing to display correct lights, improper use of blue lamps etc

The regulations abound on this one.  The standard lights on a car, set by manufacturer are generally a good guide.  White lights only to the front and red lights to the rear.

These lights can confuse other motorists at night.  A vehicle can give the impression of being an emergency vehicle.

If you like green or blue lights - have you considered a career in the police, ambulance, fire and rescue or coastguard?

Video Screen within view of the driver.

Use of a mobile phone when driving.

Whilst the vehicle is being driven, the screen should not be able to be seen by the driver.

Handsfree kit only.

What could be better than catching up on the latest movie or chatting to your mates - problem is, your concentration is drastically reduced.  This reduces your reaction times and could have very serious consequences for other road users.  One seconds delay in reaction at 60 miles per hour means you travel a further 88 feet!

Driving whilst Unfit through Drink or Drugs, etc.

This can include alcohol, illegal drugs or prescription drugs.  Anything in your system, which prevents you having proper control of your car.

Isn't it perfectly obvious?  Slow reactions to fast events.  Alcohol affects different people in different ways.  Don't think you can guess the legal limit when out for the night.  Leave the car at home.  A blood test will reveal cannabis and ecstasy use or any other prescription drug.

Tyre Depths

The legal limit is a minimum only.

It's what stops you from hitting other road users or solid objects.  Burnouts and wheel spins radically reduce your tread and will unevenly wear your tyres.  It's not just your safety - it's everyone else's as well.

Why is it so important to have a clean Driving Licence?

When applying for certain jobs, many employers will require you to have a full clean driving licence; they may see it as a test of your credibility and responsibility. Certain jobs may require you to have no convictions. To lose your licence in court could create all manner of problems in your work, your social life, in your family or for holidays. Applications for permits to work in other countries may be affected. Don’t let others provoke you into taking risks – know your limits and stay within the law.

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