When someone offers you a lift in their car you might ask yourself a few questions as to whether the situation seems safe before accepting. Questions such as:
Has this person been drinking?
Do I know this person, and, if not, why are they asking me if I'd like a lift?
Will they be expecting some sort of financial remuneration for their services? (Please ignore if they are a taxi driver as yes, yes they will.)
However, there is a question that you not have previously considered pertinent that you perhaps ought be asking, and that is, "What dang county are you from!?"
Should you level this question at whoever it is offering you a lift, they will undoubtedly hesitate, contemplating whether they need to reassess whether you're the type of person they want in your car. However, should they eventually answer by saying either 'Laois' or 'Wexford', then I would like you to do one thing, and one thing only. I would like you to look them in the eye and politely reply, "No thank you, I'm not getting into a vehicle that will - in your hands - be morphed into a veritable 'death trap'. I will prefer to take my chances on public transport, or walking, or even dragging myself on my hands and knees to my destination."
This is because the Central Statistics Office have released statistics based on data collected by the Road Safety Authority and the Department of Transport which has highlighted several interesting facts.
The study, which looks at various driving trends taken across the country, has revealed two counties which have a significantly higher rate of penalty point accrual among motorists than other counties. In Wexford and Laois almost 20% of divers with either a full license or learner permit have received penalty points at some point during the previous three years. Given that the national average lies somewhere around 16% of registered motorists this constitutes a higher incidence rate of around 4%. What's more Wexford have almost twice the number of the national average off the road for having accrued more than 12 penalty points in a three-year window - which results in a six month ban being issued.
The study revealed that, by the end of 2018, almost 564,000 drivers in Ireland, out of 2.9m with an Irish driving licence, had a penalty point recorded on their licence. However, the number of penalty points issued last year was down 8.5% on the previous year, equating to a drop of around 52,400.
The county in Ireland with the lowest proportion of drivers being issued penalty points was Donegal, with just 11.5% of drivers having been issued points.