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Funeral director is the face of road safety campaign

David McGowan made headlines in May 2016 when he and a team of people transported a Boeing 767 plane from Shannon Airport to his glamping site in Co Sligo.

The Irish funeral professional is now fronting a campaign after Gardaí revealed that 341 motorists were caught behind the wheel while over the legal alcohol limit in the first two weeks of its annual seasonal crackdown.

The figure is a rise of 89 – or 35 percent – on the same period last year. The funeral director now is fronting a road safety campaign with Mayo County Council with the tagline Man, Tonight I’m going to get so trashed, they’re going to have to carry me home.

David McGowan has produced a video clip to share on social media asking people not to get behind the wheel when they have been drinking, saying he don’t want to be the one to have to carry them home in his professional role as an undertaker. Instead, enjoy the night and live to fulfil your dreams.

Mr McGowan did not wish to frighten people with talk of funerals, but he wanted them to be on their guard when using the roads.

He said: “I want to instil in people before they get into a car with a speeder driver, or someone who may be under the influence, or have taken drugs, to stop and think because you have all this trauma and devastation that you bring on your family and on the whole community (if there is an accident)”.

To date, 182 people have been killed on Irish roads this year up to the morning of December 16.

Noel Gibbons road safety officer Mayo County Council added: “The message in the campaign is that drink-driving destroys lives, families and communities.” As the festive season approaches, stark warnings have been issued to road-users about the consequences of drink-driving.

He continued: “Earlier this year, the RSA’s Pre-Crash Report on Alcohol, which examined Garda forensic investigation files in to fatal crashes between 2008 and 2012, showed that alcohol was a factor in 38 percent of all fatal collisions (driver, passenger, pedestrian, motorcyclist and cyclist), claiming the lives of 286 people.

“Some 29 percent of drivers and motorcyclists who were killed had consumed alcohol. Between January and October 2016, there were 6,629 arrests for driving under the influence, some 406 more than the same period in 2015. There were 665 arrests for driving under the influence during last year’s Christmas drink-driving campaign.”

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