Monaghan GAA players and management show their support for N2 Road safety event

McCaughey’s 24hr Service Station on the N2 at Broomfield, Co Monaghan is the setting for an informative Road Safety Awareness event this Friday 4th August 2017 from midday to 7pm.

The Road Safety Authority’s Shuttlebus and Rollover simulator will be present giving everyone an opportunity to:

  • Experience simulated virtual situations and experience first-hand the dangers of driving and texting and driver fatigue.
  • See how driving environments and speed affect braking distances on the brake reaction timer.
  • Learn about tyre safety
  • Practice you driving skills on car, motorbike & bicycle simulators.
  • Take a road safety quiz in the activity zone.
  • Practice the driver theory test on board.

The Rollover Simulator will allow users to experience a half or a full rotation, to show how it would feel if you were in a car which turned over in a collision and the lifesaving benefits of wearing a seatbelt. For the children, they can test their fancy footwork by dancing to the Safe Cross Code in the activity zone and practice their safe cycling skills on the state of the art bicycle simulator.

Jointly organised by McCaughey’s 24 hr Service Station, Monaghan County Council and the Road Safety Authority, the event is also supported by Top Oil, Daybreak Ireland, Monaghan Gardai, Monaghan Fire and Rescue Service, Shane Tyres Castleblayney, Ulster GAA and Northern Sound FM who will be broadcasting live from the event throughout the day.

Manager of McCaughey’s 24hr Service Station, Raylene Tavey explained the background to the event. “We recognise the importance of spreading the road safety message to all our customers, locals and all road users, by hosting this awareness day at our premises, which is located along a busy stretch of the N2 with over 10,000 vehicles passing by daily. Service Stations in general are an ideal location for drivers to stop and make use of the services provided and here at McCaughey’s we cater for all the drivers needs including HGVs and buses 24 hours a day. We have ample parking and our restaurant is open from 6am – 10pm every day. Our staff will be taking part in all activities with the RSA this Friday and we encourage as many people as possible to call and become more aware of the importance of road safety, not just on this road but on every road.”

As tyres are the only part of your vehicle in contact with the road, they play a key role in vehicle safety. Those attending can avail of free checks provided by Shane Tyres Castleblayney, to ensure they comply with legal standards. As well as checking tread depth, tyres will also be examined for defects and proper inflation levels.
Experts will be on hand to provide advice on road safety issues including the dangers of driver fatigue, which has been an issue over Bank Holiday weekends, as increased numbers of people take to the roads. It is estimated that driver fatigue is a contributory factor in as many as 1 in 5 driver deaths in Ireland every year. “Drivers who get behind the wheel while fatigued are just as much a risk to themselves and other road users.” said Adrian O’Sullivan, Road Safety Officer for Monaghan County Council. “Most people need 7 to 8 hours sleep each night, so if you drive after insufficient or a bad night’s sleep, you risk ‘nodding off’ and substantially increasing your risk of being involved in a crash” added Adrian.

The RSA advice to drivers who feel the effects of fatigue whilst driving is to ‘Stop, Sip and Sleep’. Stop the car in a safe place, Sip a caffeine drink, and Sleep for 15-20 minutes. This should enable you to continue driving for another hour or so.

Maura McMenamin, Community, Health & Wellbeing Manager with Ulster GAA explained the GAA’s involvement in promoting Road Safety among its members through the ‘Live to Play’ Road Safety programme. The aim of the programme is to raise awareness and educate members on how best to stay safe on the roads” said Maura. “Using the slogan ‘A mistake on the pitch might cost you the game. A mistake on the road can cost you your life’, the programme is delivered in partnership with the County Boards, with a particular focus on educating young people about Road Safety as it is they who are most likely to be involved in a traffic collision added Maura.

Cathal Hand, Chairperson of Monaghan GAA’s, Health and Wellbeing Committee said “We are delighted to be involved with this awareness raising day on the N2 and look forward to working with the many groups involved with promoting the road safety message in County Monaghan.” Cathal added “We would ask all fans from Monaghan, Tyrone and Armagh who are going to Croke Park this Bank Holiday Weekend for the All-Ireland Quarter finals to be careful on the roads and to leave plenty of time and plan their journey well in advance”.

Also present on the day will be Cú Chulainn Blood Bikes. Formed in 2016, they are a group of volunteers who transport blood, samples, x-rays etc between hospitals at no cost to the public purse for patients from Monaghan, Cavan, Louth and Meath. They also transport blood samples from family homes of sick children, allowing parents more time at home and less time travelling to hospital to leave off samples. Additionally they support sick or terminally ill children with visits to hospital or at home. The group are fully trained and all have accredited First Aid Courses.

Commenting on traffic safety in County Monaghan, Chief Superintendent for the Cavan-Monahan Division, Christopher Mangan referred to the numbers of people caught speeding locally. “There has been a significant increase in speed detections in County Monaghan, with 393 more motorists caught for speeding offences compared to the same period last year. Gardaí will continue to place an emphasis on detection of these offences and subsequent prosecutions in court to help reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries on the roads in County Monaghan”.

Provisional collision statistics from the Road Safety Authority show that during the period beginning January 2013 to the end of July 2017, there were 30 fatalities on County Monaghan roads, half of which occurred on the N2. A recent report from Roadplan Consultants, who carried out a safety audit for Monaghan County Council on a stretch of the N2 from Drumgeeny to Castleblayney, showed that 90% of accidents on this road were related to driver behaviour with over 70% of fatalities occurring as a result of head-on collisions. In neighbouring County Louth 5 people have lost their lives on the N2 to date in 2017.

There was welcome news for road users in County Monaghan last week with the announcement from Transport Infrastructure Ireland of the sanctioning of an upgrade of the N2 from Drumgeeny near Castleblayney to north of Ardee in County Louth. At the same time the reactivation of the N2 Clontibret to Northern Ireland border road scheme was also announced.

The aim of the bank holiday weekend event, which is part of the County Monaghan Road Safety Action Plan, is to encourage all of us as road users, whether as a motorist, cyclist or pedestrian to take personal responsibility when we use the roads. By setting a good example through our own behaviours and attitudes, we can make our roads safer.

All are welcome to attend.