Gardaí and the Road Safety Authority are urging drivers to slow down as they express their concern at increased speeds on quieter roads.
The warning comes as the number of pedestrian deaths has doubled to date this year, with 16 pedestrians killed up to April 29, compared to just eight pedestrian deaths up to the same period in 2019. Six pedestrians have died since the schools were closed in the middle of March.
Despite the reduced amount of traffic on the road, many drivers have been observed speeding. Some drivers have been detected speeding through streets with 50km/h limits at what is being described as 'motorway speeds'.
"Although there is a substantial reduction in traffic volumes, some drivers are driving at extreme speed whilst the roads are quieter; for example a driver was recently arrested after travelling at 202km/h on the M1 motorway, this is completely irresponsible and a danger to all road users," said Chief Superintendent, Paul Cleary.
Drivers are being urged to slow down and expect to encounter more pedestrians and cyclists than normal on their journey.
"All drivers need to slow down and watch out for vulnerable road users. There has been a worrying increase in pedestrian deaths this year," said Minister for Transport Shane Ross.
Gardaí will be performing an increased number of high visibility checkpoints over the coming days and over the bank holiday weekend.
The chairperson of the RSA reminded pedestrians to exercise caution when using the roads.
"Traffic may be at a reduced level but there are still cars and trucks using the roads and everyone – motorists and walkers must remember that those rules have not been suspended or changed," said Liz O'Donnell.
"Those out walking should take measures to ensure their safety like wearing bright or reflective clothing."