With almost 60,000 students receiving their Leaving Certificate results today, the highest number in 15 years, the Road Safety Authority (RSA) has reminded all recipients to celebrate safely and responsibly and is urging students to be sensible by planning their travel to and from festivities.
Moyagh Murdock, Chief Executive of the RSA said: “I’d like to congratulate students around the country on receiving their Leaving Cert results today. While this marks the end of an era, it is also the start of an exciting new chapter in your life, don’t jeopardise that by taking unnecessary risks. Celebrating these results is a rite of passage for many but we ask students to do so safely. Please be smart – plan ahead and get home safely tonight.
“When making plans to get home we urge you to use public transport where possible. If you do choose to drive, remember if you hold a Learner Permit, you must be accompanied by a driver who has held a full licence for more than two years, and you must display ‘L’ plates, front and rear.
“If you are getting a lift from a friend, don’t be afraid to speak up if you suspect they have consumed alcohol or drugs. You have the rest of your lives ahead of you, don’t put it in the hands of an irresponsible road user. Make the right choice about how you use the roads tonight, plan your night, wear a seatbelt and never, ever drive under the influence of drink or drugs.
“Parents are undoubtedly very proud of their children’s accomplishments but you also have a role to play in how they celebrate their achievements. I would appeal to you to talk your sons and daughters to make sure they have made plans to get home safely and be on standby in case their arrangements fall through.”
To date this year, August 13, 93 lives have been lost on Irish roads including seven young adults aged between 16 and 20.
Here are the RSA’s top tips for celebrating safely:
- Use public transport if it’s available and make sure you know the time of the last bus, Dart or Luas so you’re not stranded at the end of the night.
- Use a taxi or hackney if available
- Let your parents know when to expect you home. Yes, you may be an adult now but trust us, when you’re a parent, you’ll want your kids to do the exact same thing.
- If you or one of your friends is planning to drive, make sure the person driving stays alcohol and drug free. Alcohol and drugs impair your driving and there are no exceptions, so it doesn’t matter if you’re tall, fit, have a fast metabolism or had a big dinner, it’s a risk you shouldn’t take.
- Remember, if you have a Learner Permit, another adult with a full licence for more than two years has to travel with you. It’s the law.
- Don’t travel in an over-crowded car – it’s dangerous and it distracts the driver, putting your safety at risk. As a rule of thumb, if there aren’t enough seatbelts for everyone, there are too many people in the car.
- On the subject of seatbelts, put yours on. We shouldn’t have to explain why, except to say that not wearing one is pretty stupid and selfish.
- Drive at a speed that is within the speed limit and appropriate to your skill and experience. Too many young adults die on our roads every year, don’t let it be you or your friends.