The Donegal Road Safety Task Force is appealing to everyone attending the Donegal Rally to act safe this weekend.
The task force says that true motorsport fans come and go to rally events and no one will ever know they’ve been there, but unfortunately these events also attract a cohort that attends these events whose driving and the behavior have a lasting negative impact on the local community.
Inspector Seamus McGonigle, An Garda Siochana added: “Young drivers are unfortunately classed as high risk takers and we are calling on parents to ensure their sons and daughters get sufficient driving experience and vehicles they drive are worthy of the road.
“Driving too fast, traveling at night, with passengers in the car, not wearing a seatbelt, driving after drinking alcohol or drugs, are often a deadly combination and young motorists are constantly taking risks driving.
“We need to stress the importance of road safety messages. The high-speed sport takes place in a controlled environment with all the safeguards in place.
“Unfortunately, there is a small minority who drive dangerously, have no interest in rallying and put their lives and those of other road users at risk.”
Brian O’Donnell, Road Safety Officer, Donegal County Council, said: “Large numbers will arrive in Donegal to watch the rally and also to enjoy all that this wonderful county has to offer and we want to highlight the importance of safety, both on the rally course and on public roads.
“Rally followers should be reminded to watch the stages from safety areas, to always observe speed limits and reduce speed in bad weather and to allow plenty of time to arrive safely at their destination.
“We urge all rally fans to be careful, use the road responsibly and be courteous to all road users.
“The Gardai will be out in force this weekend and we support them in zero tolerance with anyone who breaks the rules of the road. It is the responsibility of each of us to ensure that our roads are safe for all road users. Please keep the race in its place”.
There have been 80 deaths so far in 2022, this is an increase of 33 from the same period in 2021. This is also an increase of 16 from the same period in 2019, which is a year older comparable, before Covid.
On the roads of Donegal, 4 people have been killed so far in 2022, compared to 1 for the same period in 2021.