An Garda Síochána has joined the RSA (Road Safety Authority) in supporting Project EDWARD - European Day Without A Road Death - which is taking place across Europe a week from today, next Wednesday, 19 September.

Devised in 2016 as #ProjectEDWARD by the European Traffic Police Network (TISPOL), the initiative once again aims to raise awareness of road safety and reduce the number of people killed every day on the roads of Europe.

The first Project EDWARD took place on 21 September 2016, and ran again on 21 September 2017. On both days, 43 road deaths were recorded across Europe, compared with a daily average of 70.

This year Project EDWARD will take place on Wednesday, 19 September and has the support of 28 European countries, as well as European Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc and an increasing number of partners from the public and private sectors.

Garda Commissioner Drew Harris said: "2017 recorded the lowest number of road deaths in Ireland, however we may see an increase in 2018, judging by the number of recent collisions. We can never be complacent about road safety. That is why initiatives such as Project EDWARD are so important in keeping road safety in the minds of all road users. Concentrating 100% when using the road prevents collisions from happening”

Commissioner Harris added: "Last year the Republic of Ireland recorded zero road deaths on Project EDWARD day. This year we are determined to do all we can again to record zero fatalities on project EDWARD day. We are joining with the PSNI in supporting Project EDWARD, this is an all island of Ireland effort so please do all you can to be safe on the roads. We appeal again to every road user to support this year’s Project EDWARD. Reduce speed, never drink or take drugs and drive, put away the mobile, belt up for every journey and make yourself visible. These are simple life saving tips. Be as safe as you can and should be, not just on Project EDWARD day, but every day.”

Ms. Moyagh Murdock, Chief Executive, Road Safety Authority (RSA) said: "Research conducted by Behaviour & Attitudes for the RSA this year has shown that there is great public support and good will out there to campaigns like Project Edward. In fact of those who were aware of last year’s European Day Without a Road Death, almost three quarters said the initiative was effective in influencing people to drive safer. So raising greater awareness of Project Edward and getting more people to sign up to the online pledge this year are our main goals. Hopefully we will repeat last year’s success of having no deaths on Ireland’s roads on 19 September 2018!”

DID YOU KNOW?

• On average, 70 people still die every day on Europe’s roads
• Ireland aims for zero road deaths on Project EDWARD day, and every day beyond
• Drivers, riders, pedestrians and all other road users are encouraged to sign the pledge at projectedward.eu/pledge and spread the word on social media using #ProjectEDWARD
• Every road death prevented has an estimated value of more than €1.94 million

On Project EDWARD day in 2017, there were zero fatalities in Ireland.

If you have a story or want to send a photo or video to us please contact the Donegal Now editorial team. Between 9am and 5pm Monday to Sunday please call 074 9112712. Between 5pm and midnight please call or text 086 792 2103. Or you can email [email protected] at any time.