John McLaughlin, council roads director; Brian O'Donnell, road safety officer; Seamus Neely, council chief executive; Cllr Terence Slowey, council cathaoirleach; and Cllr John Ryan, roads SPC chair.
Donegal County Council has been named overall winner of the “Road Safety Award 2016” in the Excellence in Business Awards by The Public Sector Magazine.
This is the second year in a row that the council has won the award.
The Public Sector Magazine is a quarterly publication distributed to all departments in the public sector, semi-state bodies and civil service.
The council and the Donegal Road Safety Working Group were delighted to accept this award for their work in promoting road safety awareness.
Cllr. Terence Slowey, Donegal County Council cathaoirleach, said road safety still is a major challenge in Donegal.
"Increasing road safety awareness is extremely important and saving lives on our roads requires persistence," he said. "Young and old must be taught about road safety – even experienced drivers need reminding of it on a regular basis."
The cathaoirleach added, “Young driver safety is a high priority, especially here in Donegal, and all of us are trying to find effective and acceptable ways of reducing the risk that these young people face.
"The educational approach we are taking is raising awareness among drivers who are generally focused on driving safely, but still need reminding of their responsibilities, but a different strategy will need to be found to tackle the reckless minority who wilfully take to the wheel while unfit to do so - or who deliberately drive in a dangerous manner," Cllr. Slowey said.
Brian O’Donnell, road safety officer said, “The continued loss of lives on our roads, whatever the cause, is a sharp reminder that we can never be complacent when it comes to saving lives. Whatever the next set of road safety statistics show, one thing is certain: Road safety will still require our continued, shared efforts if we want to make our roads safe."
Mr. O'Donnell appealed to all road users to please make the right decision when using the road.
“This means wearing a hi-viz jacket and being seen if you are walking, running, cycling or riding a motorbike," he said. "Slow down if you are a driver, especially when sharing the road with vulnerable road users. Everyone needs to wear a seat belt, front and rear, on every trip and ensure that children are properly restrained. Never drive while distracted by a mobile phone and never drive while impaired, whether through drink, drugs or driver fatigue."
The road safety officer said: “Road users are ignoring these important messages and that is why we continue to have death and serious injury on our roads.
"As a community, we simply must stop the carnage we have witnessed on our roads," he said. "To date, 161 people have lost their lives on Irish roads, an increase of 30 on the same period in 2015, 10 of those deaths in Donegal. We all have to take responsibility for our actions, and by sharing the road safely and working together we can all help prevent death and serious injury on our roads."
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