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Home : Roads and Transportation : Road Safety : Campaigns : Punchestown Festival

There may be winners and there may be losers, but one thing for sure, if you are caught driving under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs, if you are caught speeding, on the phone while driving or travelling in a vehicle without wearing a seatbelt, you may lose more than just you’re shirt. What you might win, are a few penalty points and that's a cert!

That’s the road safety message from Kildare County Council and Kildare Gardaí as hundreds of thousands of people are expected on the roads to Kildare for one of the biggest highlights in the Irish racing calendar, the Punchestown Racing Festival, which begins tomorrow.

This joint road safety campaign between An Garda Síochána and Kildare County Council is supported by management at the Punchestown Racecourse.

Garda Inspector Oliver Henry, Naas Garda station is advising motorists to observe and follow the directions and instructions of the gardaí and traffic stewards in and out of Punchestown this week. ‘As with previous years, a traffic management plan is in place and drivers are asked to follow the routes and observe the instructions from the gardaí and traffic stewards. As with any major event, we will of course be checking drivers for alcohol or illegal drugs and we will also be monitoring speeds and driver behaviour, and this may include using a mobile phone while driving and the non-wearing of a seatbelt’.

Richie Galway, Racing Manager at Punchestown is looking forward to a very busy week and is expecting huge numbers again this year. However, he says one mistake behind a wheel can change a person’s good luck in a second. “With the thousands of people expected to travel to the Punchestown festival from all parts of the country, we would encourage all drivers to get here safely and get home safely. You might have had a great day at the races but one mistake behind the wheel or in a vehicle can change all that good luck in a second.”

The promotion of road safety awareness has taken place at the Punchestown Festival for the last number of years and, while there has never been any road related issues or incidents around the racing festival, Kildare County Council’s road safety officer Declan Keogh says there is no room for complacency at any event. “Punchestown brings a great atmosphere to the county each year, and thankfully, everyone arrives home safely after the festival but we mustn’t become complacent. If everyone remains responsible while using the roads and if there is no horseplay inside the vehicle to and from the event, we’ll all arrive home alive. We are advising drivers to be sober of alcohol or illegal drugs, drive within the speed limit and to the conditions of the road and that driver and all their passengers are wearing a seatbelt for the journey.”

Enjoy the festival and a safe journey to everyone!