Deaths on the road up 30% so far in 2019

Deaths on the road up 30% so far in 2019
File photo

There's been a 30% rise in the number of road deaths so far this year.

Five people lost their lives on Irish roads over the bank holiday weekend - bringing the number of fatalities in the first three months of the year to 39.

The Garda Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) is investigating the incident in Co Louth in which two men were killed yesterday.

The AA's Conor Faughnan says despite the rise in the first quarter of the year - Ireland is making progress in reducing road fatalities:

"You have to be careful of the statistics of small numbers," he cautioned. "We shouldn't be blinded by that."

"We have to stick to the policies that have borne fruit and not be knocked off course when a bad weekend looks in the data like a trend."

Meanwhile, 164 drivers were arrested on suspicion of drink and drug driving over the bank holiday weekend.

Gardaí say 74 of those arrests happened on St Patrick's Day itself.

Over the course of the three-day period, there were 11 arrests made between the hours of 8am and 11am.

Gardaí say they will continue to target irresponsible drivers who put themselves and all other road users at risk.

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