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Saturday 25 March 2023 Dublin: 12°C
Eamonn Farrell/
# Road Safety
18 lives lost: Highest January death toll on Irish roads in a decade
A total of 156 people died on Irish roads last year.

LAST UPDATE | Feb 3rd 2023, 1:13 PM

GARDAÍ AND THE Road Safety Authority (RSA) revealed that Ireland has just experienced its highest January death toll on its roads since 2013 as they appealed to the public to “stay safe” this Bank Holiday weekend.

From this year, there will be a new annual public holiday at the start of February to mark St Brigid’s Day, also the traditional Gaelic festival of Imbolc/Imbolg. 

This will fall on the first Monday of every February from 2023 on, except where St Brigid’s day happens to fall on a Friday. This year’s public holiday falls this coming Monday, 6 February. 

On launching their safety campaign, An Garda Siochána and the RSA said a total of 156 people died on Irish roads last year, the largest death toll on Irish roads since 2016.

Eighteen people died on Irish roads during January 2023 – that is the largest death toll on Irish roads during the month of January since 2013.


An Garda Síochána is appealing to all road users, including drivers, pedestrians, cyclists, to use the roads responsibly, particularly on rural roads, where the majority of fatal collisions are taking place.

In particular, road users are asked to be seen.

Drivers are urged to drive with dipped headlights during the day, especially if they do not have daytime running lights.

Pedestrians are advised to wear high visibility at night on roads without public lighting and footpaths.

Cyclists should wear safety helmets and ensure they have a white light to the front and red light to the back so they are visible to pedestrians and drivers.

Over 50,500 road traffic collisions were recorded by An Garda Síochána during 2022 including.

Last year, gardaí detected 8,038 drink drivers. Last month, gardaí detected 660 drivers for such offences. 

“In this first St Brigid’s Bank Holiday weekend I am appealing to all roads users to look out for one another on the road. Bank Holiday weekends are a very busy time on the roads and our experience is that the risk of fatal and serious injury collisions increases during these periods,” Assistant Garda Commissioner Paula Hilman of roads policing said.

Similarly to other bank holidays, this weekend we will be focusing on the four lifesaver offences: driving under the influence, speeding, non-wearing of seatbelts and mobile phone use. “An Garda Síochána will engage with the public and work with our partners to keep people safe on our roads, this bank holiday weekend,” Hilman said. 

“During the hours of darkness, please ensure that you are clearly visible to other road users,” she said.

RSA chief executive Sam Waide said: “One of the main road safety themes for the RSA and An Garda Síochána in 2023 is safer speeds. Inappropriate and excessive speed is the largest contributory factor to fatal and serious injury collisions in Ireland.

“So, this new bank holiday weekend I am appealing to drivers to slow down. 5% reduction in average speed could result in a 30% reduction in fatal collisions.”

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