Motorists travelling to Co. Mayo this weekend for the world-famous Reek Sunday Pilgrimage and Westport Street Festival have been asked to take good care on the roads - and Mayo County Council are using the occasion to hammer home the message of road safety. Flashing signs urging motorists to belt up will be displayed at key vantage points on routes to Croagh Patrick and Westport.
"Large numbers (up on 25,000 people) travel to Murrisk to climb Croagh Patrick each Reek Sunday and hundreds more to the Westport Street Festival, we will be running a road safety awareness campaign on the day," said Noel Gibbons, Road Safety Officer of Mayo County Council.
"The Archbishop of Tuam, Most Rev. Michael Neary, and An Garda Siochana are backing the campaign."
Garda Sergeant Donie Duignan, Divisional Traffic Corps, Castlebar said "An Garda Siochana appeal to all road users to think 'Safety' every time they use the public roads and streets."
"We urge families to discuss the topic so that Parents and Guardians assume and accept responsibility to alert their sons and daughters of their obligation to drive within all legal boundaries.
In circumstances where Parents have supported their child with a means of transport or insurance there should be conditions attached to the use of such vehicle including the legal obligations on young permit holder drivers."
Tuam Archdiocese spokesperson Fr Fintan Monaghan said the church was "fully behind the campaign. We all need to play our part to reduce the number of road deaths."
"The trauma of road crashes to families and communities is devastating. A major focus of the campaign is to promote the issue of driver fatigue, drink-driving and speeding, as well as praying for the safety of not only all road users, but our Gardai and emergency services."