A call for extra care while driving over the Christmas period was made by Deputy Shane McEntee, Fine Gael Spokesman for Road Safety, at the launch of the Road Safety Authority's Christmas and New Year Road Safety Campaign.
The launch was held this year at the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Dun Laoghaire this year to reinforce the focus of the campaign which is on the lives that are shattered by drink driving. Deputy McEntee said everyone was very aware of the road death statistics but we rarely stop to think of the other lives that are destroyed by drink-driving, including victims and families who are left to spend years rebuilding their lives.
He said the speaker who really caught his attention at the launch was Paddy Lynch. "His story is one that really touched me. In November 2006, he had left his car at home, decided to walk to the nearest pub to meet with friends. On his way home, a van driven by a drunk driver mounted the footpath and pinned Mr Lynch to a wall. He lost both his legs in the tragic accident. These are the stories that we don't often hear. Paddy Lynch did everything right - left his car at home because he knew he would be having a few drinks and yet still his life will never be the same again," said Deputy McEntee.
"I would urge every single motorist in this country to stop and think before they get into their car this Christmas. Ireland has succeeded in consistently lowering the number of people killed on the roads for the last six years. It is important that this continues. While we are currently ranked sixth in Europe in terms of road safety, we should continuously strive to be ranked number one," he said.