We Irish think we have a lot to complain about. Yes, it’s deeply satisfying to moan but we actually have it pretty good here on our spec in the Atlantic
So this is an anti-rant about one of the least celebrated things in Ireland – roads. Yes, roads. Potholes, nonsensical one way systems and nonexistent signs – we might think we have reason to shake our head in disapproval, but whist your whinging for a moment and realise that we actually have a pretty cushy deal.
Anyone who’s had the liberty of gallivanting through far flung places like Laos will realise that, in this world, paved roads are a bonus, not a given. Never mind the paving, the roads themselves are a bonus – oftentimes the quickest way to get in to town is by catching a boat down the Mekong. Or take a place like India, where the NCT says never mind needless accessories such as doors and windows - as long as your vehicle has wheels or legs it is roadworthy.
In Ireland, if your motor is getting on a bit, there are legal implications if it isn’t conveyor belted through the NCT centre, imprisoned on a hydraulic lift, felt up by an inspector, and churned out at the other end with a piece of paper slapped on to the windscreen. It might be arduous and costly, but the very fact that these mandatory tests exist, shows that Ireland gives a hoot (excuse the dodgy pun) when it comes to road safety.
We live in a country that spends money and man hours educating us about road safety through schools and media campaigns. There are people working in all weather tending our road surfaces, erecting signs and wiring traffic lights. We’ve set up a dedicated authority (the RSA) to gather statistics about fatalities and collisions so that these can be used to focus resources. We set targets for ourselves regarding annual road deaths, we analyse our performance year on year and we compare it to other countries - who’s the safest? How did they do it? How can we improve
Merciful hour, surely we’re not praising the system? What about the sneaky speed cameras, the painful penalty points and those ridiculous rim-destroying ramps? Yes, nothing enrages a motorist more than these commonplace frustrations, but we all know that without them we’d be acting the maggot. When it boils down to it, we’re lucky. Our roads make the cut for the top 10 safest roads in Europe – did you realise that? Not everyone has it as cushy as us because not everyone has the hard working souls that we do, breaking their backs and backsides to get us to where we are.
So send out a bit of grá for all the decent people that have spent the last decade making Irish roads some of the safest tarmac in Europe.
Cheers guys, you’re doing a great job.
Whatever road you're driving on, here's a quick reminder to make sure you have car insurance before you begin your journey. At AIG, we offer low cost car insurance quotes with absolutely no administration fees, so if you need to talk to someone simply phone 1890 27 27 27 or go to aig.ie for a quote today.