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

Sweet-Toothed Drinkers Targeted
By Noel Gibbons
10, Dec 2015 - 18:33

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A new campaign unwrapped a new weapon in their fight to reduce late night rowdiness and improve road safety - free lollipops-You could call them the "lollicops.".

Traditionally the number of assaults in December is almost one third higher than in January and February.

The sweets will be distributed at the doors of a nightclubs and late bars in Co. Mayo in the hope that revellers will not be able to shout or cause a disturbance while sucking on them while getting them to read the road safety message wrote on them.
Mayo County Council hopes handing out ‘awareness' lollipops will reduce road deaths and decrease drunken brawls.

*lollipop via Mayo County Council

The plan is to give out the sugary treats to people coming from night clubs and late bars in an attempt to crack down on road deaths of pedestrians and to stop drunken brawls. It's a strategy taken from the playbook of police in the UK and Canada, who also use the 'sucker punch' tactic to placate aggressive, drunken men at the end of a night out.

While the road safety awareness message is clear on the lollipop wrapper, how does the council plan to stop fights with the sugary treat?

Mayo County Council and its partners have all the answers for this one:

Road safety officials in Mayo claim this approach has worked in other Countries where police "noticed an immediate decrease in rowdy activity and an increase in calming energy and awareness created around the message on the lollipop".

Like giving candy to a grumpy baby, lollipops are said to have similar effects on grown men and women. Moreover, arguments fuelled by drunken bravado and macho attitudes often escalate following verbal exchanges. But stick a lollipop in their mouth, and it becomes a lot harder to shout

Once the revellers popped the lollipops in their mouths, it was like an instant pacifier.

Two thirds of pedestrians killed on Irish roads had been drinking; 50 per cent of them were three times over the legal drinking limit.

The aim of the campaign is to get those who walk home after drinking to realise the danger they're putting themselves in and for all to plan night.

Mayo County Council said: "In particular we want people to sort their lift home before heading out to go drinking."

Superintendent Joe McKeanna Castlebar , Castlebar said "Through this campaign we and our partners, are using a whole range of ideas to tackle anti-social behaviour and improve road safety to make the Christmas period and new year a enjoyable and safe time for all."

Mr Joe Corcoran Hotel Manager said "We are very happy to be involved with any campaign that can save a life. This is a fantastic initiative by the Road Safety Department of Mayo County Council and the Westport Plaza & Castlecourt Hotel Resort is delighted to be involved withthe "Get home safely"Campaign".

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