Gardaí have urged motorists to take care while travelling on roads over the coming weeks at the launch of their Christmas and New Year road safety appeal.
An Garda Síochána is targeting four ‘lifesaver offences’ over the holidays: intoxicated driving, speeding, the use of mobile phones and seatbelt offences.
There will be a particular emphasis on locations where there is a higher risk of fatal or serious injury collisions.
To date, 148 people have lost their lives on the roads this year – 25 more than on the same date in 2021.
A total of 1,125 collisions causing serious injury have also occurred.
Data compiled over the past 12 years indicates that the highest risk time for fatal or serious road traffic collisions during the Christmas period is between midday and 9pm.
Over half of incidents occurring within this timeframe, and 21% occurred between 3pm and 6pm.
The risk of a fatal or serious injury road traffic collision is highest on the Sunday of the Christmas period.
From January 1st 2022 to date, 156,560 drivers have been detected for travelling in excess of a speed limit.
A total of 17,567 drivers have been caught using their mobile phone while driving and 5,664 seatbelt offences were recorded.
More than 7,600 people have been arrested on suspicion of drink/drug driving.
An Garda Síochána has also urged all road users to be safe this Christmas and New Year period, particularly this weekend as Met Éireann have issued a yellow weather warning for sub-zero temperatures.
Inspector Ross O’Doherty of the Garda National Roads Policing Bureau said that the Christmas period is one of the busiest on Ireland’s roads.
“Our operational activity over the past seven days indicates to us that drivers need to be much more mindful of the offences which so often lead to fatal or near fatal road traffic collisions,” he said.
“The number of people that have already lost their lives on Irish roads this year is a cause for concern – Gardaí are out of duty every day enforcing Road Traffic legislation in order to ensure that we do not lose any more lives.
“Motorists and all road users can help us reduce these stark statistics. Please be mindful of how easily collisions can happen.
“We are urging all road users and motorists in particular to pay even greater attention to driving conditions over the coming weekend, as temperatures take a sharp dip and the roads become more difficult to navigate.”