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Youth Wings Unite to Urge Road Safety

7 December, 2007

A Road Safety Vigil will be held at the GPO, Dublin, on Saturday 15th December at 1pm, Ógra Shinn Féin, Labour Youth and the Young Greens announced today.

Road traffic accidents claim hundreds of lives every year on Irish roads, with young people being a high proportion of the victims.

"Four hundred and three people have died on roads on the island of Ireland this year alone" said Barry McColgan of Ógra Shinn Féin.

"It's nothing short of a national tragedy. We need to urgently raise awareness of the issue, and we need action now, both north and south."

"We feel that young people have a responsibility to act as peer leaders in highlighting this issue, and trying to end this annual carnage."

The Road Safety Vigil has been organised in the run up to the holiday season, to call on the youth of Ireland to take responsibility on the roads and to slow down.

"It's a sad fact that road accidents and deaths increase during the Christmas holiday period", said Labour Youth's Enda Duffy.

"It's the complete antithesis of the season of happiness and joy."

"As well as urging people to drive carefully, keep to the speed limit, and not to drive while tired, we would also appeal to everyone to never ever drink and drive, never to let your friends get behind the wheel while drunk, and please, report any suspected cases of driving drunk to the Gardaí."

"Alcohol is one of the main causes of road accidents, and every of those accidents is avoidable".

Stephen Crowley of the Young Greens, meanwhile, called for greater preventative action.

"We have to reduce people's dependence on their own cars as the sole mode of transportation, particularly in rural areas. Cheap and easily available public transport would dramatically reduce the temptation and opportunity for people to drive under the influence."

"Where no alternative is available, we would encourage people to nominate a designated driver."

He also called on pubs to help designated drivers by providing them with free non-alcoholic drinks for the night.

"It's a simple solution which is already being run by soft drinks companies, which we strongly welcome. But not all pubs participate in such schemes, and we would encourage everyone in the industry to joining, and help us reduce the number of families who will lose a loved one on the roads this Christmas."

Ógra Shinn Féin, Labour Youth and the Young Greens invite everyone who can to come to the Road Safety Vigil, and play a part in national road safety.

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