Road users urged caution on the holiday weekend

Gardaí and the Road Safety Authority (RSA) are urging all road users to take extra care over the upcoming St Brigid bank holiday weekend after 20 people have died on Irish roads so far this year.

As the new public holiday will result in an increase in traffic, as is usual on long weekends, Gardaí are focusing on speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, not wearing seat belts and the use of mobile phones.

“An Garda Síochána appeals to all road users, including motorists, pedestrians and cyclists, to also use the roads responsibly, especially on rural roads, where most fatal accidents occur. Road users in particular are asked to be seen,” Gardaí said in a statement tonight.

“Motorists are urged to drive with dipped headlights on during the day, particularly if they do not have daytime running lights. Pedestrians are advised to wear high visibility (clothing) on ​​roads without public lighting and footpaths at night. Cyclists should wear safety helmets and make sure you have a white light after front and a red light to the rear so they are visible to pedestrians and motorists.”

Deputy Commissioner Paula Hilman, Road Police, An Garda Síochána said: “On this first St Brigid Bank Holiday weekend, I appeal to all road users to look out for one another on the road.

“Roads are very busy on public holiday weekends and in our experience the risk of accidents resulting in fatalities and serious injuries increases during these times. So far this year there have been 20 road fatalities. We ask everyone to work together to keep our streets safe.”

“Similar to other public holidays, this weekend we will focus on the four life-saving crimes; Driving under the influence of alcohol, speeding, not wearing seat belts and use of mobile phones. An Garda Síochána will engage with the public this bank holiday weekend and work with our partners to keep people safe on our roads.”

Sam Waide, Chief Executive of the Road Safety Authority, said: “One of the key road safety issues for the RSA and An Garda Siochana in 2023 is safer speeds. Inappropriate and excessive speed are the major contributors to accidents resulting in death and serious injury in Ireland.

“So this new Bank Holiday weekend I am appealing to drivers to slow down. A 5 percent reduction in average speed could result in a 30 percent reduction in fatal collisions.”

Meanwhile, Department of Transport Minister of State Jack Chambers said bank holidays were “high risk times on the road” and urged all road users to “take better care over St Brigid’s weekend”.

He also reminded drivers that fines for 16 traffic offenses have doubled since October.

“So don’t ruin your weekend paying for something that’s totally avoidable. Please slow down, fasten your seat belt, keep your phone off and watch out for pedestrians and cyclists.”

Meanwhile, Gardai has released grim statistics showing that over 50,500 road accidents were recorded last year, including 150 fatal road accidents and 1,238 accidents that resulted in serious injuries, in addition to 4,526 accidents that resulted in minor injuries. Another 44,853 collisions resulted in property damage.

Gardaí also revealed that 8,038 drivers were arrested for drinking and driving, including 5,331 arrests for drunk driving and 2,707 arrests for drug driving last year.

In January of this year alone, 660 drivers were arrested for drunk driving, including 415 for drunk driving and 245 for drug driving.

In 2022, 165,513 drivers were also fined for speeding, 5,910 for seat belt violations and 18,524 drivers for cell phone violations. Road users urged caution on the holiday weekend

Fry Electronics Team

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