The Road Safety Authority (RSA) and An Garda Síochána has released a new ad to help prevent drinking and driving as part of its annual Christmas and New Year Road Safety Campaign.

The video tells the story of Gillian and Ronan Treacy, whose four-year-old son Ciarán who was killed in a head-on collision with a drunk driver in April 2014. It includes the words of Gillian, Ronan and the emergency services and medical team who fought to save Ciarán’s life.

The message behind the ‘Crashed Lives’ ad campaign is that drink driving destroys lives, families and communities. As the festive season approaches, the RSA and An Garda Síochána have issued a stark warning to road-users about the consequences of drink-driving. Earlier this year, the RSA’s Pre-Crash Report on Alcohol, which examined Garda forensic investigation files into fatal crashes between 2008 and 2012, showed that alcohol was a factor in 38 per cent of all fatal collisions (driver, passenger, pedestrian, motorcyclist and cyclist), claiming the lives of 286 people. 29 per cent of drivers and motorcyclists killed had consumed alcohol.

Speaking before the launch, Gillian Treacy said: “Thursday 17 April 2014 was the day our lives were shattered because of drink-driving. As a mother, your instinct is to protect your children from any harm that might come their way but I wasn’t able to do this for Ciarán. Because someone decided to drink and drive that day, and his actions led to the death of my little boy. Our lives will never be the same again. I beg anyone who would think of drinking and driving to think of my little boy, and to think of the devastated family and community still mourning his loss.”

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Shane Ross TD said: “Drink driving kills, maims and shatters lives. While many people have changed their behaviour for the better, there is still a cohort of people who think it is acceptable to drink and drive. It is not. We simply cannot live in a society where we have to fear for our safety on the roads because of the selfish actions of someone else.

“We need to take responsibility for our behaviour on the roads so that other families are not left devastated because of bad choices. We must also continue to educate drivers, cyclists and even pedestrians about the very real dangers and consequences of using the road after consuming alcohol.”

The campaign will be supported by a full social and online campaign, cinema and a radio advert. The digital campaign features 13 short ten second vignettes featuring people who were directly affected by the collision. This includes those first to arrive on scene, the paramedics, the ICT nurse, the Fire Brigade and the Treacy family themselves.

The Crashed Lives video can be viewed below.