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Steer away from your bad habits this Lent

Story Title: Steer away from your bad habits this  Lent

Date:8th March 2011

Road safety professionals are appealing for people observing lent to give up one more thing - bad driving.

Noel Gibbons, Road Safety Officer Mayo County Council said: People tend to give up those bad habits that they enjoy, like eating too much chocolate or crisps, or maybe drinking too many cups of coffee before getting into work.

-The Road Safety working together Group in Co. Mayo is asking people to think about the way they drive and use Lent as a reason to kick their bad habits off the road forever.

Inspector Martin Byrne Castlebar Gardai said: 'We want all road users to change their behaviors’ this Lent and make these changes part of their lives in the future, which will save lives and reduce serious injuries on our roads.''

Some bad habits you should give up are:

- Speeding. It is estimated that one in three crashes is speed-related. Make sure you are always aware of speed limits and keep to them, being especially cautious on unfamiliar roads.

- Phoning while driving. It is illegal to use a hand-held mobile phone while driving, even while stopped at traffic lights and the consequences of doing so can be fatal. So always turn it off before you set off.

- Driving tired. If you do, you are putting yourself and everyone else on the road at risk. Stop for a 15-minute break every two hours. Try to avoid long trips between midnight and 6am when your natural reactions are likely to be slower.

- Tailgating. You should always leave at least a two-second gap between you and the vehicle in front

- Jumping traffic lights. People have been killed and seriously injured when drivers have been too impatient to wait for a traffic light to change from red. Always obey the signals for your own and others safety.

- Driving without your seatbelt. It is illegal not to wear a seatbelt while travelling in a car. Seat belt wearing saves lives every year.

- Road rage. Why not think of others for a change, be patient and calm down. Would letting someone pull out in front of you, or saying thank you cause you any extra hassle?

- Share the road with cyclists and pedesterians.

size matters

Story Title:size matters

Date :5th July 2010


There will be more cyclists on Irish roads this summer enjoying the warmer weather with the introduction of the bike to work scheme and a grown interest in people keeping fit.

A campaign to remind motorists to over take cyclists with care and give at least 1.5m space between the vehicle and cyclist has been launced in Co.Mayo.

"Driving can be a stressful and challenging experience and with cyclists in the mix extra tensions often arise. Equally, cyclists are very vulnerable and the road can be a scary place if you don’t have the protective shell of a car body. That is why encouraging mutual respect and appreciation between car and bike users through the size matters campaign is so important."said Mr Noel Gibbons Road Safety Officer Mayo County Council.


The benefits of cycling for commuting, congestion reduction, and recreation in Mayo , Organisers of the campaign are keen to reduce the number of cyclists injured despite the increased numbers of cyclists on the roads. "Cyclists are legitimate road users entitled to mix with other traffic and while an extensive regional cycle network is planned and there has been great progress in developing dedicated cycle facilities, it is not feasible to build an entirely separate cycle network, so the campaign is focusing on two key behaviour messages to encouraging safer motorist and cyclist behaviour",.





"The campaign provides an excellent reminder to motorists to take care around cyclists on the road. Looking out for cyclists and giving cyclists more room while overtaking are two simple measures that motorists can do to help improve road safety for cyclists and themselves."



The campaign reinforces that motorists and cyclists are subject to the same road code meaning that cyclists have to observe the rules and courtesies expected of motorised vehicles on the road and in turn, they need to be treated with similar respect by motorists.



"It is great to see more cyclists on the roads as cycling is fun, efficient, good for you, and frees up congested streets. But safety is a concern, so we hope that this campaign helps raise motorist awareness while also reinforcing the importance for cyclists to ensure they are visible to motorists."said Castlebar based Superintendent Willie Keaveney.




"The campaign messages will be promoted across the region for the next four months including the distribution of a leaflet format of these signs to all ADI driving instructors in Co.Mayo to build awareness among all learner drivers .We look forward to more cyclists using the road network,and we encourage all cyclists to have a safe bike and helmet, gain cycling skills and to plan their cycle routes carefully".

Children wear tattoos to keep them safe

Story Title:Children wear tattoos to keep them safe


Date : Thursday , April  0, 2009


Preschool children will wear tattoos , taking home the message for parents to “Belt Me Up Every Time”.

Mayo County Councils Road Safety Officer said that children, especially those under five, cannot be responsible for keeping themselves safe.

Noel Gibbons said, “Children from  local preschools and childcare centres are learning about the importance of seatbelt wearing and road safety over the coming weeks  and they will go home wearing tattoo’s reminding parents to buckle them up safely before they set off on their journey. Teachers will speak to children in childcare centres in the coming  weeks to help reinforce messages about the importance of seatbelt wearing, holding hands with adults and using the safety door to enter and exit vehicles.”

Seatbelt wearing, extremely important for our safety and that of our children.   Without a safety belt three out of four people would be killed or seriously injured in a 50km head on collision.


In 2007, the RSA conducted a survey of seatbelt wearing in Ireland.   The survey indicates that 30% of primary school children and 37% of secondary school children are not belted in the back seat of a car.  Safety belts are proven life savers.  We need to get this message out there


Children are vulnerable in the road environment and this initiative is effective because teachers tell children and children then tell parents what they have learned. Children love tattoos, and although temporary, they are a visual reminder to parents to always ensure children travel safely.

The road safety campaign “Belt Up Every Time” has the support of the local Gardai who will concentrate on non-wearing of occupant restraints over the next few weeks. 

Sgt  Tom Calvey  Castlebar Garda head quarters said, “The non-wearing of seat belts is still one of our major causes of death and injury in crashes on our roads.  When we get into a car it’s a reflex action that we put our seatbelt on, we must make sure we do the same for our Children.”

These are precious young lives and drivers are putting those lives at great risk by not ensuring they are buckled up every time. 



Don’t hurt the one you love’, young driver campaign

Don’t hurt the one you love’, young driver campaign


Date :14th January 2009


Mayo County Council is participating in the 2009 ‘For my girlfriend’ (FMG) young driver campaign, which will take place in the run up to Valentine’s Day on 14 February.


The annual FMG campaign reminds young people about the potentially catastrophic consequences when things go wrong while they are travelling by car. Campaign activity focuses on and around Valentine’s Day each year – the most romantic day of the year for young couples.


The 2009 campaign uses the slogan ‘Don’t hurt the one you love’. A short ‘viral’ film tells the story of a young couple out on a date when things go tragically wrong. The campaign poster, Valentine card and flyer all support the film by encouraging people to go online to view it.


The first scene of the film takes place in the boy’s car – the couple are fooling around and expressing their feelings about each other, and the boy is encouraging his girlfriend to ‘come back to his place’.


This scene is filmed by the participants themselves - neither of whom are professional actors – on hand held cameras (similar to mobile phones). It deliberately looks like a typical ‘YouTube’ film, rather than a professionally produced film.


The second scene opens with the girl in bed – but not her boyfriend’s bed, a hospital bed. Her boyfriend is crouching in the corner of the room distraught at what has happened. The film ends with the captions:


‘More girls die as passengers than as drivers’

‘Don’t hurt the one you love’

‘Take care when you’re out as a couple’


The film gives no clue as to what has happened – it is clear there has been a car crash with a catastrophic outcome, but no indication of how the crash occurred. Was the driver driving too fast, had he/they been drinking, were they wearing a seatbelt or using a mobile phone, or were they simply fooling and around and not paying attention?


This is quite deliberate; leaving the viewer to draw their own conclusion makes it more difficult for them to opt out by saying: ‘That couldn’t happen to me because I don’t speed’ (for example).


For further information about the campaign, or to view the film, go to:

funding for cycling

funding for cycling

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drug driving:

drug driving

For more information, contact:

Road Safety Officer
Mayo County Council
Aras an Chontae
The Mall
Co. Mayo
Phone: 094 9047115
9am to 5pm

Drive to the conditions

Road safety advise

Click to View Drive to the conditions (Adobe Acrobat Document; 82 kb)
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Reports & Publications

Cycling Safety:

Cycling Safety

Bike Check:

Bike Check

Road Safety:

Road Safety

Light Up:

Light Up

See the Road Ahead:

See the Road Ahead

Mobile Phone:


Safety Belts:

Government Policy on Safety Belts