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Open invitation to Gay Byrne

I was informed during the week that Gay Byrne was recently on the radio singling out young male drivers as being the only problem on our roads. Apparently this interview was particluarly condemning of Ireland’s and the insurance industry’s favourite scape goat. It’s a pity really that it has come to this: Gay Byrne was a respected national broadcaster for many years and did much for the airwaves. In his would-be “retirement” he wasn’t let go by a demanding audience that saw him return to TV and most recently to take over the position of chairperson of the Irish Road Safety Authority. Gay’s media position and public influence were no doubt factors in his appointment and gave hope that some impact would result from it (much like Ronald Reagan taking the US presidency).

In the 6 months or so that Gay has been in charge the campaign for road safety has continued along the exact same lines as those pursued by his predecessor and not the radical shake-up and hard facts that I personally was expecting. The radio interview that I have recently been told about is however, the nail in the coffin. It would be too easy to say that this appointment has failed but that would be stooping to the same level as simply blaming young males for a population wide problem. Even if the figures that I used in a previous posting were incorrect (they are not) then surely solving the big problem of road deaths is like solving any big problem – tackle it in small pieces. If old and young are dying on our roads then advertise to both groups, if male and female are dying on our roads then advertise to both genders. Don’t fall into the same trap of blaming the most popular scapegoat!

In light of this most recent and unsettling event, that a revered national broadcaster has stooped to the lowest common denominator to merely be heard as trying to make a difference, I would like to extend an open invitation to Gay Byrne, to contact me to discuss this matter. To discuss the hard facts and figures, to not ignore all sectors of public apart from the young males in the blame game. In a situation were people are dying, every life is precious be it young or old, male or female – saving one life is as important as being seen to try and save many…

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