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

What is an Acceptable Number?
By Noel Gibbons and Deirdre Caulfield
6, Oct 2016 - 11:00

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166 people died on Irish roads last year and so far this year 139 people have been needlessly killed on IRISH roads an increase of 21 on this time last year.

It's very easy as journalist or a member of the public to delete this press release or distance yourself from it but we are pleading with you just take two or three minutes out of your busy lives and read this and for a moment to think if one of those 166 people who died on our roads last year was your mother, father, son, daughter or some relation, how would you feel?

They're just numbers to most people; detached from names and faces, people with families, people who laughed and cried and got in a car one day and never came home.

Mayo and Galway County Councils know the true toll beyond the statistics. This week,as we head into National Road Safety Week in its latest bid to drag that number down further, it is releasing a campaign unlike any of its previous campaign.

Forget shattered glass and twisted metal. Forget blood on the windscreen and families grieving. This campaign hits at the emotional heart of the issue only.A film crew hits the streets in Co Galway and Mayo to talk to members of the public.

In these clips filmed on the streets of Galway city and Claremorris locals are told 166 people died on Irish roads last year. The local people are asked: "What do you think is a more acceptable number?" I ladies answer is 50 but when it's put to her if they were her family members she thinks zero is an more acceptable number. The clips will be shared on social media by both local authorities for viewing by the public, on road safety Mayo County Council and Galway County Council Facebook .

One link to view is

Noel Gibbons road safety officer said: "We realise Towards Zero sets an ambitious target.

"But unless we're working towards the highest possible benchmark, Irish men or women will continue to lose loved ones to road trauma and we can never accept that.

"If we're not aiming for zero, we are saying to ourselves that there is an acceptable level of road trauma."

Irish people know they should wear a seatbelt and why they shouldn't drink and drive, speed or text at the wheel but we are still seeing too many people die on our roads.

Deirdre Cauldfield road safety officer with Galway County Council said "Road trauma is not about numbers published next to the words 'road toll'.

"It is about our brothers, sisters, children, parents, friends and colleagues.We can make a change but we need your help".

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