'Girl power' to drive new campaign


MOST WOMEN killed or seriously injured on Irish roads received their injuries in crashes caused by male drivers, the chief executive of the Road Safety Authority, Noel Brett, said yesterday.

Speaking at the launch of "He Drives, She Dies", a new road safety initiative, Mr Brett said young women in particular should be aware that in more than one-third of the cases where women were killed in cars driven by men, the men were between 17 and 24 years of age.

The initiative asks women - particularly young women - to "say no to getting into a car with a guy who drives dangerously", said Mr Brett.

The campaign will consist of radio, poster and internet advertising and is also being implemented in Northern Ireland in conjunction with the Co-operation and Working Together organisation.

Speaking at the launch of the campaign in Dublin yesterday, Mr Brett said 1,444 females were killed or seriously injured in cars driven by males over a 10-year period, to 2006. The vast majority of women passengers, aged between 17 and 24, who died, were in cars driven by young men in the same age bracket, he said.

According to Mr Brett the unmistakable message of the research is: "Girls you are more likely to be killed by a male driver."

"This campaign is about 'girl power' and you have the power to make a choice here. So put your foot down.

"Tell him you're not impressed with the way he drives," Mr Brett said.

"Every time you get into a car with your boyfriend, partner or brother who drives dangerously, you are putting your life and the lives of others at risk. And more often than not, it's a case of He Drives, She Dies'," he added.

Research carried out by Co-operation and Working Together, a cross-Border health and social care partnership, indicated that speeding by drivers was the main reason passengers felt unsafe in cars, with most respondents saying they had been fearful that the driver would drive faster if the speed was commented upon.