Gardaí and RSA make road safety appeal as deaths skyrocket in 2022

Galway Daily news Driver caught doing 111km/h in 50km/h zone in Galway City

Gardaí and the Road Safety Authority are appealing for people to slow down this Bank Holiday weekend, as road fatalities have risen drastically this year.

There have been a total of 50 deaths from 49 crashes in Ireland up to today in 2022, far higher than the 27 road deaths in the same period last year.

Roads over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend have also gone up in recent years, with the four deaths in 2021 at least twice of what was seen in any of the preceding five years.

Galway TD Hildegarde Naughton, Minister of State at the Department of Transport, said that the increase in road deaths this year is deeply concerning.

“We must all take action to reverse this trend by taking greater care when using the road – especially over the high-risk Easter Bank Holiday period.”

“Four people died and eight were seriously injured over the Easter bank holiday last year,” Minister Naughton added.

“That means as drivers, we have a responsibility to slow down, to never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs, never to use our phones or drive while tired, and always to ensure that everyone in our vehicle wears their seatbelt.”

While the RSA and An Garda Síochána have issued a general appeal for road users to take greater care on the road this weekend there will also be focus on drug driving.

An Garda Síochána figures for the full year 2021 saw over 3,300 arrests for Drug-Driving. There have been 768 arrests for the same this year, up to March 31.

Assistant Commissioner, Paula Hilman said that enforcement over the weekend will focus on the four ‘lifesaver’ offences of speeding, drink/drug driving, not wearing a seat-belt, and using a mobile phone while driving.

Mandatory Intoxicant Checkpoints will be operating across the country as part of this operation.

“Don’t ever drive under the influence of an intoxicant. If you drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs you risk losing your licence,” she said.

“Our priority is to keep people safe, so I would ask you to please make responsible decisions this holiday period and don’t ever drive under the influence of an intoxicant.”

Mr Sam Waide, Chief Executive of the RSA said that at the current pace, Ireland could hit 180 road deaths by the end of the year.

This would be the greatest number of people killed on the road in the past decade.