A high profile road safety group has welcomed warnings by gardai of drivers smoking drugs behind the wheel.

A-CEART, the long-running Donegal campaign organisation, has also renewed a Garda appeal to motorists following the shocking claims about drink-driving and drug-driving.

Mary Clinton, the group’s founder, was speaking after Donegal’s Garda Traffic Corps chief Michael Harrison publicly issued concerns about the level of drivers who are being found to be both drunk and high.

Garda Inspector Harrison said last week: “We have had a number of arrests where people have been arrested for drink-driving and have been smoking joints as well.

“We have had arrests where there’s evidence that drugs have been consumed in the car.

“That is a very worrying development. Not only are people drinking and driving, but they are also consuming drugs.”

A-CEART founder issued a statement to say: “I welcome the fact that a senior Garda Inspector has said there was no reason why road victims in Donegal had to die.”

She added: “Drunk-driving is a statistically proven killer, just as is drugged driving, along with a number of other factors.

“For example, excessive speed, aggression, anger, impatience, fatigue, the using of hand-held mobile phones while driving any vehicle, peer pressure and bravado.

“It need not be so: you can change your lifestyle and behaviour.”

A-CEART is due to issue its Christmas appeal in the coming days.

Mary said: “I’m sick and tired of excuses for road carnage, and people’s lives being destroyed, all ages of people left with broken, devastated lives for ever.

“There has been an appalling and alarming rise in deaths, with more fatalities in 2016 by early December than there had been for the whole of 2015.

“When will this constant avoidable, preventable and needless loss of precious life on our roads ever stop?

“My group A-CEART stands for Action Campaign for Education Against Road Tragedies.

“We believe that road carnage is no accident, that constant road carnage is no accident, that taking risks is no accident.

“It’s a choice, everyone’s choice. We urge motorists to choose responsibility, not carelessness.

“It just might save a life, your own life or that of someone else like an innocent road user.”

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