GARDAÍ ARE TO roll out a major operation this weekend to encourage drivers to reduce their speeds on Irish roads.
Operation Slow Down will run from 7am on Friday morning until 7am on Saturday morning, which has been identified as when the highest proportion of fatal collisions take place.
There has been a year on year decrease in the number of people killed on the roads since 2006, but figures show that there have been four more fatalities on Irish roads than at this time last year.
96 people have died on Irish roads so far this year, with 25 road deaths happening in June alone. 33 of the deaths this year – almost one third of the total number – happened on either a Friday or Saturday.
Gardaí say the operation is to raise awareness of the dangers of excessive speed, reduce the number of speed-related collisions, and save lives and reduce injuries on the roads.
Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan said that a speed limit is “not a target”.
“When you are faced with adverse weather, road or traffic conditions, the most effective way to keep safe is to slow down and give yourself more time to adapt to all that is happening around you,” said Callinan.
The time lost by reducing your speed by 5 or 10 km/h on a long journey is insignificant, but the increase in road safety terms to you and all around you is very significant.
Operation Slow Down will see checkpoints on national primary and secondary roads carried out by local Gardaí and the Garda Traffic Corps.
Each Garda Division will also have an area locally where Gardaí will be available to give road safety advice and distribute leaflets. Garda members who are not responding to emergency calls will be told to reduce their speed, and drive at speeds appropriate to the prevailing conditions.