An Irish woman's social, political and domestic commentary
Tuesday, May 24, 2005  

Bus crash

The bus crash in which five teenage girls lost their lives is truly appalling. Whatever caused the accident it is clear that speed must have been a factor given that the bus swung around completely before overturning and flinging the five through the back window. I thought Mary Hanafin's performance, tho' I don't like using that term, was very touching. She (being Minister for Children) cancelled a trip to Brussels and went straight to the hospitals and when interviewed by RTE she was clearly quite upset. She also appealed for calm, which was most appropriate, because by the time the SINDO etc are finished with this, they will have whipped the rest of the school into full scale hysteria.

However, I can't help feeling sorry for the mothers of other teenagers who die in car crashes every single weekend and are practically ignored. I've long held the belief that there is a political willingness* to accept a certain level of death on our roads. Every year about 450 people are killed (and twice that number left alive with spinal and head injuries) and we know how to stop the crashes - police presence on the road to prevent speeding and drunk driving. But the cops are not given the resources and the carnage goes on. The victims of this crash will get loads of attention and the pyschologists are being wheeled in already. The focus will remain on school buses and how to make them safer. But where is the political will to do something about the everyday massacre on our roads?

*wasn't there a term for a similar policy in NI? As long as the deaths stayed under a certain level, the British and Irish governments had no motivation to do anything. It took the bombing of the mainland to get the Brits into action?

posted by Sarah | 21:05 0 comments
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