This weekend is a new bank holiday weekend introduced by the Government in recognition of the public’s response and solidarity with each other during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Bank Holidays are a time to relax and enjoy with families, relatives and friends; they are also period when traffic volumes increase on roads across the country.
For whatever reason you may be using the roads this weekend, whatever your mode of transport may be, An Garda Síochána and the Road Safety Authority (RSA) appeal to all road users to continue to demonstrate that public solidarity and ‘Stay Safe’ this St Brigid’s Bank Holiday Weekend.
Last Year, 2022, 156 persons died on Irish roads, the largest death toll on Irish roads since 2016.
18 persons died on Irish roads during January 2023. This is the largest death toll on Irish Roads during the month of January since 2013. As of Thursday, two more people had died on the roads.
An Garda Síochána and the RSA continue to remind vehicle drivers and motorcyclists of the 4 key lifesaver offences and to drive responsibly.
- Driving under the influence
- Non wearing of Seat Belts
- Mobile Phone use
An Garda Síochána appeal to all road users, including drivers, pedestrians, pedal cyclists, to also 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:
150 Fatal Road Traffic Collisions
1,238 Serious Injury Road Traffic Collisions
4,526 Minor Injury Road Traffic Collisions
44,853 Material Damage Road Traffic Collisions
During 2022 An Garda Síochána detected 8,038 drivers for Driving under the Influence Offences (5,331 Alcohol/ 2,707 Drugs).
In January 2023 An Garda Síochána detected 660 drivers for Driving under the Influence Offences (415 Alcohol/ 245 Drugs).
During 2022 An Garda Síochána issued
- 165,513 FCN’s for speeding Offences
- 5,910 FCN’s for seat belt Offences
- 18,524 FCN’s for mobile phone Offences
Assistant Commissioner, Paula Hilman, Roads Policing, An Garda Síochána, said: “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. This year to date there have been 20 fatalities on the roads. We are asking everyone to work together in keeping our roads safe.
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.
During the hours of darkness, please ensure that you are clearly visible to other road users. 60% of Fatalities to date this year has been drivers, therefore I would ask all drivers to reduce their speed and arrive safely to their destination this weekend. Finally, I want to wish you all a safe and enjoyable St Brigid’s Weekend.
Mr. Jack Chambers, Minister of State at the Department of Transport, said: “There has been a worrying start to the year with 20 fatalities on the road. I am urging all road users to take greater care over the St. Brigid’s weekend as we know that bank holiday weekends in general are high risk periods on the road.”
The Minister added, “I want to remind drivers too that the fines for 16 road traffic offences were doubled last October, so don’t ruin your weekend by having to pay for something that is completely preventable. Please slow down, wear your seatbelt, stay off the phone and watch out for pedestrians and cyclists.”
Mr Sam Waide, Chief Executive, Road Safety Authority, said: One of the main road safety themes for the RSA and An Garda Siochana 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.