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Dublin: 11 °C Tuesday 7 July, 2020
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Gardaí and RSA urge care ahead of Bank Holiday weekend after pedestrian deaths double

Provisional collision figures for 2020 show that there has been a 17% increase in fatal crashes compared to last year.

A cyclist being stopped at a Garda checkpoint on O'Connell Street.
A cyclist being stopped at a Garda checkpoint on O'Connell Street.
Image: LEAH FARRELL; RollingNews.ie

AN GARDA SÍOCHÁNA and the Road Safety Authority (RSA) are urging people to be careful on the roads this Bank Holiday weekend, after seeing a 17% increase in fatal crashes compared to last year.

Provisional collision figures for 2020 also show that there has been a 9% increase in road deaths compared to last year.

60 people have been killed in 56 fatal collisions up to the 26 May, compared to 55 deaths in 48 fatal collisions up to 26 May last year. 

The RSA, Gardaí and Minister for Transport have said it is of “great concern” that the number of pedestrian who have died in fatal collisions has doubled: there have been 18 pedestrians killed this year compared to nine in the same period last year.

Minister for Transport Shane Ross said he was “greatly alarmed” by the figures.

“Road safety is a public health issue and the way we all behave on the road determines whether people live, suffer injury or die.

I am appealing to all road users to please take a closer look at how you behave on the road and to take greater responsibility and practice good road safety habits.

“This means drivers being alert to danger and slowing down and pedestrians walking on the right-hand side of the road towards oncoming traffic if there are no footpaths.”

Michael Rowland, Director of Road Safety, Driver Education and Research said that the roads “are going to be busy even with current travel restrictions” due to the good weather.

“As has been the pattern throughout the current health crisis many people will be out walking, jogging and cycling. The lifting of some restrictions in Phase One of the government’s road map also means that more people will be driving, for example to garden centres and other locations where outdoor sports have resumed.

Secondary students are also officially on their summer holidays so you can expect to see more young people walking or cycling on the road.

“Don’t forget too that it’s a busy time on farms with silage cutting so you will encounter farming machinery on the roads. So, motorists need to slow down and expect the unexpected while walkers and cyclists should be seen and use the road safely.”

Chief Superintendent Paul Cleary, Garda National Roads Policing Unit said, “In light of the increase in road deaths this year, An Garda Síochána will launch a Roads Policing enforcement operation this coming June Bank Holiday weekend.

The operation will concentrate on the four ‘Lifesaver’ offences of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, speeding, non-seatbelt wearing and using a mobile phone while driving.

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“Of concern is the number of people arrested so far this year for driving under the influence of an intoxicant; either alcohol or drugs.”

He said that 1,153 people have been detected for driving under the influence of an intoxicant since the 27 March this year.

Roads Policing units have also seen drivers speeding, not wearing seatbelts and driving while using mobile phones.

“This bank holiday weekend there will be increased Garda activity and roads policing enforcement; the primary focus of this operation is to save lives and prevent serious collisions,” he said.

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