The Road Safety Authority is recalling the first person recorded as killed in a car accident in a new campaign to try and make Irish drivers more safety conscious, writes Brian Byrne. Mary Ward was killed when she fell under the wheels of the car she was travelling in, at Birr Co Offaly, in 1869.

She was a mother of eight, a pioneering scientist, and a scholar who had achieved widespread recognition in her chosen fields of astronomy and microscopy. Her book ‘A World of Wonders Revealed by the Microscope’ received widespread acclaim.

The ‘Who was Mary Ward?’ title of the campaign is designed to trigger people to have conversations with each other about their responsibilities in road safety.

Specifically they want those conversations to lead to the ‘Vision Zero’ target of no road deaths by 2050.

There has been a marked rise in road tragedies all over the country in recent months, the county of Tipperary, having probably the worst case scenarios

for any family and community to deal with.

We all need to be carefull but accidents do happen, all we can do is ensure we keep to the rules of the road.

Don’t speed, drive to the road conditions, and put the mobile away.

This particuarly driver has personally witnessed three occasions in as many weeks, when drivers came across the road at me ,too busy looking at their

phones. I spoke to a lorry driver this week, he told me I am at a height and can see down into their cars, many of them on their phones.

You just can’t drive a vehicle and use a phone at the same time. You don’t realise how far your car travels even at modest speeds.