The Road Safety Authority (RSA) has renewed its new-year road-safety appeal following the deaths of four young women in a crash outside Athy, Co Kildare.
In the first seven days of the year, six lives were lost on Irish roads, with the RSA saying 2015 is off to a “tragic and poor start for road safety”.
The organisation also expressed serious concern after a rise in road deaths in 2014, the second consecutive yearly increase.
RSA chief executive Moyagh Murdock asked road users to take extra care.
“I would appeal to all road users, as a new year’s resolution, to please make safer choices when using the road,” she said.
“This means wearing a hi-vis jacket and being seen if you are walking, cycling or riding a motorbike. It means slowing down if you are a driver, especially when sharing the road with vulnerable road users.
“It means everyone wearing a seatbelt, front and rear, on every trip and ensuring children are properly restrained, too.
“It means not driving while distracted by a mobile-phone and it means not driving while impaired, whether through drink, drugs or driver fatigue.”
She urged communities to come together to“stop the carnage”.
“Each one of us has the power to make a difference on the road. We did it before, in 2012, when we saved more lives on the road than ever before. We need to do it again in 2015,” she said.
“It’s been an appalling start to the year and mirrors exactly the situation at the same time last year.
“If anything should come from such loss of life, it’s that it may serve as a reminder to us all that using the road is the most dangerous thing we do every day.
“ All it takes is a split second for a situation to turn into tragedy.”
In 2014, there were 196 road deaths, an increase of 3% on 2013, which saw 190 deaths. This compared to 162 deaths in 2012 and 186 in 2011.
Meanwhile, AA Ireland has said the reduction in adequate Garda resources on roads has played a role in the increase in traffic collisions.
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